Boris and the Bomb is the kind of comedic action thriller, an obvious passion project written by the husband-and-wife team of David Kronmiller and Jennifer Emily McLean and directed by Kronmiller with just the right doses of humor amidst its action and thrills. After a successful festival run, the film has been picked up by distributor Indie Rights and was recently released on Amazon Prime.
The story in Boris and the Bomb is fairly straight forward. There's this guy named Boris (J. Anthony McCarthy, This Is Us) and, you guessed it, he has a bomb.
Okay, there's actually more than that.
Boris is a Russian, a former KGB agent whose, well, bomb is actually a nuclear bomb and it's set to go off in 48 hours. Boris is actually one of the good guys and he doesn't want this to happen, but he's only got 48 hours to do something about it and save Los Angeles. Boris's only real trustworthy ally is Jimmy (Steve Sabo), his "Yuber" driver.
Everyone else? Well, they're pretty much after Boris with their own agenda. There's T.J. Storm's (Godzilla, Deadpool) Wallace, leader of a mafia group known as The Group, who enlists the help of Rafael (Kurt Caceres, Prison Break). Rafael, in turn, seems connected to Maya (Kavi Ladnier, Heroes), who rescues Boris and whose daughter is her spitting image. Of course, since this is a spy thriller there's also government involvement and double-crossing in the form of Emily (Sarah Barton) and Kale (Jason Young), formerly married former compatriots of Boris's who are sent out to find him by a U.S. Congressman determined to get his own hands on Boris's bomb.
There's others including, I'll completely confess, an appearance by one of my longtime indie crushes from afar Molly Hagan as Dani, whose appearance elevates pretty much any project she's in and the same is true here. Hagan, like many of the cast members of Boris and the Bomb, is a longtime character actress whose face you'll immediately recognize once you see it. I actually started crushing way back in 2000 when Hagan appeared as Sheila Yoder in the Disney flick Miracle in Lane 2, one of the few films to feature my own birth defect of spina bifida.
Okay. Okay. Back to the review. Suffice it to say Hagan is awesome here <swoon>.
Boris and the Bomb is a rock solid effort, a comedic action/spy thriller made on the cheap utilizing a number of Hollywood's regular faces including, in addition to those listed above folks like Faran Tahir (Iron Man, Star Trek), Pete Gardner (Crazy Ex Girlfriend), and Rene Michelle Aranda (Christmas with the Andersons, Expelled) among others.
The humor in Boris and the Bomb is for the most part of the quirky variety, for the most part not laugh out loud funny but nearly always more than amusing. It's woven into the fabric of the story and its characters quite nicely and set smack dab in the middle of some pretty kick-ass action sequences, martial arts, and car crashes. For a film that got birthed out of a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign, Kronmiller accomplishes quite a bit here.
Jeremy Scott Olsen's original music keeps the atmosphere light and festive, while Robert J. MacColl's lensing for the film is pristine with nicely lit car sequences accentuating the film's comic-lite spy thriller vibe.
J. Anthony McCarthy is clearly having a blast here and is able to flip the switch between comedy and action with the flick of an eyebrow or other subtle badassery. T.J. Storm is also tremendous, while Kurt Caceres turns in his usual dependable performance. Truthfully, there's not a weak link and it's a blast watching a quality cast give it their all in a low-budget, passion project.
Boris and the Bomb had its world premiere at the 2019 Valley Film Festival and after its successful festival run is now ready to reach a wider audience. You can watch it yourself for free if you have Amazon Prime or rent it via Amazon. Based upon a web series that Kronmiller and McLean made 10 years ago, Boris and the Bomb is definitely worth your time.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic