Extremely Unique Dynamic (2024)


Extremely Unique Dynamic Review

Two friends Ivan Leung (an actor mostly known for his some TV appearances in bit roles) and Harrison Xu (a prolific English-language voice actor of Asian series) with their actress-filmmaker friend Katherine Dudas decide to make a movie. About two friends who are aspiring actors making a movie. About two friends making a movie. How meta is that? Double or triple? Anyway, so was born little indy comedy “Extremely Unique Dynamic,” and this week we got to see it at Caam Fest…

The story is pretty simple really. Daniel (Leung) and Ryan (Xu) are lifelong besties who have been trying to be famous their whole lives too. As kids they used to film themselves screwing around with a camcorder, and as adults they’re aspiring actors and roommates in Los Angeles who spend most of their time auditioning endlessly and posting the stuff they make together online. But now Ryan’s about to move out — he’s moving to Canada with his girlfriend Harper — and the two buddies have one more weekend left with each other.

They could do the usual things like smoke weed, visit the places of their shared past for one last time, etc., but instead they decide to make a movie of their own. One problem is that their tastes differ greatly, as does their knowledge of various “lores,” which is why the more proactive of the duo, Ryan, insists on going meta – which Daniel agrees to if only because he wants an excuse to bring up certain issues within their relationship while hiding behind a character or using it as a mask or whatever you want to call it. What started as a buddy-buddy comedy (possibly stoner comedy) quickly turns into an indie drama where two people talk about feelings…

As filmmakers, Leung and Xu try to touch on a number of topics/issues regarding today’s film industry landscape, representing the Asian-American experience in showbiz, gay/straight buddy dynamics in a film that runs just over 70 minutes. Katherine Dudas, presumably serving as coordinator given that she already has one feature film under her belt, keeps the story from going off track. The problem is that all of the topics the trio set out to tackle are only touched on superficially and often redundantly, not to mention that there’s (at least) one meta-level too many in the very structure of the movie which ultimately amounts to little more than extra weight. Also their directing style is very plain — usually a series of reverse shots for dialogue scenes — which could either signal lack of imagination or lack of funds. However some of the jokes written into the script do hit right where they’re supposed to, and it’s also nice to see them taking shots at some Asian-American experience pillars as well.

In terms of acting, the duo’s actors may not be strong enough to support a full-length feature film that could work as a short. However, they are trained in (bad) acting on multiple meta-levels that also happen to be one of the better executed jokes. Also, the cameo appearance by Hudson Yang (of “Fresh off the Boat” fame), which eventually twists into Kevin Smith’s Silent Bob character territory, is both an elaborate film industry joke and something that heightens acting dynamics in certain scenes.

The technical side of the movie stays pretty basic with some questionable production values but it’s kind of expected for a no-budget movie and might even be intentional since cinematographer Steven Shulgach and editor Michael Scotti Jr show that they know how to do their jobs when given opportunities. Really it could serve as a study in how (not) to stretch something that could easily be a podcast episode interspersed with some videos into a feature film especially when your highlights are two music video for a couple dumb catchy tunes and one animated sequence during or after the closing credits sequence.

All said and done “Extremely Unique Dynamic” doesn’t live up to its lofty title but it can be fun. Sometimes. In more of a “slacker-ish” way.

Watch Extremely Unique Dynamic For Free On Gomovies.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top