Dark comedy, Gentlemen’s Fury is one part tennis movie, one part Fight Club and all parts boring. It is the story of tennis player Aaron Faust, played by Ben Sharples (also the film’s writer), whose life seems to be crumbling after an outburst at a tennis match. As he comes to terms with being thrown off a tennis tour and his girlfriend leaving him, Aaron discovers an underground tennis league run by a meathead named Dwayne. The league slowly devolves into a Fight Clubesque “Project Mayhem” situation; however, unlike that cult hit, there is nothing here to keep the
viewer invested in the story.
While the premise of the movie isn’t all bad, everything else hurts, from the writing down to the acting. The writing can be very bad with a lot of jokes just missing entirely and the lack of enthusiasm from many of the actors left me apathetic. Aaron is bland, while his outbursts are constantly mentioned, he is rather calm for a good portion of the film, you would never think that the character needed anger management course he’s given in the movie. The club’s jock leader, Dwayne, was too unlikeable for me to care about him in any way. Even Aaron’s new girlfriend, the resident female of the club Julie, has nothing really going for her. None of the main actors put any sort of emotion or, well character, into their characters and that honestly makes them hard to care about in the end.
The editing also hurts the film as some scenes are either cut too quickly for no apparent reason and while others cut to nonsensical scenes that add little to the scene at hand or even have any relation to the previous scene. For example, a scene where several characters argue over fast food burgers comes right after a scene involving a kidnapping. Scenes go on for too long with no payoff like a Seth McFarlane gag on Family Guy or seem to exist for no reason as they add nothing to the film, they’re not there for comedic purposes nor do they advance the plot in any way, it’s almost like they were either left in by accident or to reach a minimum time requirement. Oddly enough, there is a lack of background music for much of the film and that makes every situation feel awkward for some reason.
My main problem with the film is the fact they had a decent premise to work with but the parts didn’t come together properly. From hokey acting to bad writing to a lack of humor or charm, the film doesn’t work. While some may think the idea of a comedic tennis movie couldn’t work due to the material, just look at Balls of Fury, another comedic sports movie with a silly premise behind it, the sport there being table tennis aka ping pong. That movie works not only due to decent writing but actors who could inject humor and character into the story and make it enjoyable. Had the filmmakers taken some time to better edit the film and have the actors display more emotion then maybe, just maybe, this could’ve been a somewhat fun movie. As it stands right now I would say save your money, you’re not missing much by skipping this.
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