Do It Yourself follows Alkis, a small time crook who decides to star in a viral video to restore the image of a corrupt businessman. When he realizes that his new partners are just going to kill him once they’ve gotten what the want from him, he has to not only escape the giant porn studio where he’s being held hostage but also outsmart the criminal organizations that want him dead.
This movie is one hell of a ride. It’s got just about everything I could ever want from an action thriller. Do It Yourself builds tension and breaks it with solid action sequences and some self-aware dark humor. From pointing out that Alkis obviously isn’t dead because, “we’re only like an hour into the movie,” and stating that Greek action flicks are, “just Hollywood knockoffs,” to a bit of tongue in cheek exposition, the fourth-wall- breaking narration in this movie is some of the best that I’ve seen. It never comes off as gimmicky and the jokes never failed to get a chuckle out of me; when you figure in that the movie is subtitled and translated from Greek I think it makes that fact even more impressive. Without a doubt this is the most fun I’ve had watching any sort of action movie in a long time.
Outside of the interesting action scenes and the dark humor, this movie offers some impressive writing and performances. The plot is intriguing and the more you piece together the better it gets. It’s a glimpse into a criminal underworld that is at the same time classy and corrupt. The performances are solid all around; while there were some characters that I enjoyed more than others (Alkis and Petros, namely) everyone in the cast brought their A-game. I really wish that this was truly a Hollywood knockoff because that would mean that Hollywood would put together something intriguing with a solid cast instead of putting The Rock in whatever CGI-heavy vehicle they can come up with to make a quick buck. I’ll Do It Yourself over most American action flicks any day of the week.
While I’m here, I just want to show a little love to Artsploitation Films. These guys are committed to bringing international films with edge to an American audience and they do just that. I’ve reviewed several films from them over the past few months and everyone of them has been superb. From the quirky and weird Snowflake to the best damned Christmas slasher ever Christmas Blood to the darker titles like Trauma and Luciferina, Artsploitation Films knows how to pick some killer films. If you’re in the market for something different I urge you to check them out.
All in all, would I recommend this movie? Yeah I would. It’s a fun ride with an interesting plot and if you’ve spent the last week watching a bunch of fucked up movies it is an excellent palate cleanser. It will be available on DVD and select VOD outlets March 5th. I suggest going and copping the DVD from Artsploitation and while you’re at it, grab a copy of Trauma and make it a double feature!