Waiting 1 & 2
Waiting... (December 5/10)
Written and directed by Rob McKittrick, Waiting... details the fun-loving high jinks that occur during one long shift at a chain restaurant called Shenaniganz - with the film unfolding through the eyes of the establishment's newest employee (John Francis Daley's meek Mitch). It's a spare premise that's utilized to surprisingly positive effect by McKittrick, as the filmmaker does a nice job of establishing the various characters and emphasizing comedic asides and set-pieces of an undeniably humorous nature. The plethora of familiar faces within the cast certainly goes a long way towards cementing the movie's affable atmosphere, with appearances by folks like Luis Guzman, Chi McBride, Justin Long, and Ryan Reynolds ensuring that the narrative's plotless nature doesn't become problematic until just past the one-hour mark - after which point the whole thing does demonstrably begin to run out of steam. (It also, as a result, becomes more and more difficult to overlook the less than captivating elements within McKittrick's screenplay, including a rather tedious subplot revolving around a waiter who is unable to urinate in public.) Still, Waiting... is generally an agreeable piece of work in the vein of Kevin Smith's Clerks and it's ultimately clear that the film will fare best among viewers who work (or have worked) in a chain restaurant.
Still Waiting... (March 18/11)
A thoroughly and pervasively disagreeable followup, Still Waiting... follows Dennis (John Michael Higgins), the manager of a strip-mall chain restaurant, as he attempts to compete with the hot new Hooters-type place next door - with the plot kicked into gear after Dennis' boss (David Koechner's Dan) threatens him with unemployment unless he can earn $9000 in one night. The familiarity of the premise is ultimately the least of Still Waiting...'s problems, as filmmaker Jeff Balis proves unable to draw the viewer into the hopelessly meandering proceedings - with the movie's lack of momentum ultimately exacerbated by scripter Rob McKittrick's ongoing emphasis on jokes and gags of a decidedly hackneyed (and aggressively unfunny) nature. There's little doubt, however, that the biggest hindrance to the film's success is its complete and utter lack of compelling characters; unlike the original, which featured a handful of charming protagonists (including John Francis Daley's Mitch, Justin Long's Dean, and Ryan Reynolds' Monty), Still Waiting... has been populated almost entirely with one-note, entirely forgettable figures that contribute heavily to the movie's consistently underwhelming atmosphere. (Only Kirk Fox, cast as a slick bartender, is able to make anything resembling a positive impact, as the actor delivers as idiosyncratic and flat-out entertaining a performance as one might've expected.) It's subsequently not surprising to note that the movie only grows more and more interminable as it progresses, with the final third possessing an absolutely endless feel that effectively cements Still Waiting...'s place as a pointless, thoroughly irrelevant piece of work.