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The Independent Critic

Kate Frampton Davis, Patrick J. Andersen, Vincent Catalina, Kaylie Gipson, Bill Hoversten, Jordan Laemmlen, Vince Major, Alyssa Padia
Morten Forland
Morten Forland, Vincent Catalina
84 Mins.
Indie Rights

 Movie Review: Wild Boys 
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At first glance, I couldn't help but think to myself "been there, seen that" as the opening credits rolled and I sat down to check out Morten Forland's feature directorial debut Wild Boys, a recent Indie Rights release currently available via your usual streaming outlets. 

Grief. Yeah. Yeah. 

Last will. Yeah. Yeah. 

Adventure. Yeah. Yeah. 

Lessons to be learned. Yeah. Yeah. 

Been there, seen that. 

Fortunately,  there's more going on in Wild Boys than you might expect and this strong ensemble cast brings the material to life in wonderful ways as Wild Boys turns into a mighty fine, spirited motion pictture. 

In the film, Kate (Kate Frampton Davis) is a reclusive young woman who spends most of her days within the safe confines of the home that she shares with her father. When her father unexpectedly passes away, however, Kate is called to open the doors wide when her father's last will and testament requires her to head out on an adventure to find her inheritance and save her home. Ill-equipped for the outdoors, especially the wilderness outdoors, Kate gets lost and ends up joining forces with a pair of rather feral young men - Red (Vincent Catalina) and Jondeer (Jordan Laemmlen). United, this rather inept trio must travel far and wide, solving mysteries and hunting for clues. Eventually attracting the attention of an overzealous ICE agent (Vince Major), Kate not only has to continue trying to save her home but also her new friends. 

If it sounds like you're in for another melancholy family drama, think again. Wild Boys is an endearing yet surprisingly funny film, a natural chemistry amongst the cast compensating quite nicely for both Davis and Catalina making their feature film debuts here. Davis is a joy, somewhat reminiscent of a young Natalie Portman, think Garden State, and easily able to weave together a tapestry of comedy meets heart meets spirited adventure. It's a terrific debut and hopefully we'll be seeing more from her. 

Both Catalina and Laemmlen excel in the film's more heartfelt moments, their humor remarkably grounded and their ability to tap into emotions quite refreshing. They're wonderful together and yet they also do a nice job of matching Davis's rhythms. 

Among the supporting players, Vince Major is an absolute hoot as Axel and Patrick J. Andersen finds all the right nuances of Drunk Dan. As Sheriff Maggie, Alyssa Padia infuses the film with a strong layer of emotional resonance. 

Original music by Alexander Arntzen companions the film quite nicely throughout its 84-minute running time. Capitalizing on an absolutely beautiful locale, Vincent Valentin's lensing is excellent yet also never loses sight of the film's emotional core and relational aspects. 

Wild Boys is a perfect match for the fine folks at indie distributor Indie Rights, a wonderful and growing distributor proving quite adept at finding audiences for its unique cinematic fare. Here's hoping that Wild Boys continues finding the audience it deserves for this humorous, feel-good indie comedy.

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic