Film Review: Indie Mockumentary ‘The Walkaround’ Strikes a Chord
Reminiscent of “This is Spinal Tap,” and “Best in Show,” Jonathan Bray’s new indie film “The Walkaround” is an entertaining satire that brings the laughs much like the aforementioned predecessors.
The film, which is Bray’s first venture into feature filmmaking, is now available on Amazon here.
Bray, who wrote, starred, directed and produced the mockumentary for his Vineland Productions, takes sharp aim at the auto show circuit and its quirky auto show narrators (those folks who tell visitors about a car’s features and capabilities). Known for his recent guest role in “Mad Men,” and work in TNT’s “Perception,” “House of Lies” and others, Bray portrays Johnathon Johnson, a veteran auto show narrator who takes auto show newbie Jason (Jason Jarchow) under his wing while trying to make the jump to an acting career.
Johnathon’s didactic and obsessive/compulsive approach to his work is at the heart of the movie as it puts all his quirks and eccentricities on full display for all to see. But it’s the hilarious exchanges between Johnathon and his naïve protégé Jason take the film beyond the bland and incoherent efforts often seen from first-timers.
Bray shines as he throws himself full bore into his relentless character who becomes obsessed with hapless Jason and his near-futile efforts to succeed as an auto show narrator. Jarchow’s portrayal of the impressionable newcomer is another gem as he blindly follows his oddball mentor’s often goofy advice.
Shot at actual auto shows by Bray, who at the time was working at the shows as one of its narrators, the film has a stark reality and simplicity that draws the audience into the odd yet compelling lives of its quirky denizens. Wayne Johnson who portrays infomercial host and struggling actor Wayne Johnson, shows his comedic chops with his often befuddled looks when he mistakes auto show goers for movie producers or casting directors: “I produce tomatoes, not movies,” says one confused man.
While the film is not perfect, with occasional need for more exposition, it is funny and generally entertaining for those who love satire.
“The Walkaround” is produced by Jonathan Bray for Vineland Productions, with Steve Hauck, executive producer; and David Avallone and Matt Miller, associate producers.