And it can. And does! I suppose every actor with any resume has movies he would like to permanently delete from his filmography. I’d hope William Macy regards this mess as one of those. Art house film school stuff of the first order, except that it was made not by some kid fresh out of film school but by Stuart Gordon!
I respect Stuart Gordon’s “Reanimator” above all other H.P. Lovecraft “adaptations.” And “From Beyond” isn’t half bad either. But as much fun as those pictures are, “Edmond” is just straining so hard to be outrageous, with no leavening of black humor. It’s just silly and pointedly offensive to little effect.
Your take on “Edmond” may depend on your tolerance for Mamet-Speak. My tolerance is low. Others will differ. They are wrong.
Mamet-Speak is, involves, of course, actors rapidly shouting speeches at each other, the sort of anti-naturalistic speeches that no living person has ever spoken but which serves in David Mamet plays to convey just how intensely the characters are feeling whatever’s bugging Mamet at any given moment. Fast, loud blather, preferably profane, obscene, misogynist or racist or some combination of those. It’s all supposed to sound important. And manly. To these ears, it sounds phony as all heck. Real people don’t talk like that.
In “Edmond”, the prime example is an extended and tiresome speech William Macy hollers at a waitress he has wish fulfillment-ally picked up at a bar; picked up a woman exactly half his age, in fact, and that with blood all over his shirt and the signs of a beating on his face. But, he’s in “good shape”. So she takes him home with her.
Then, after implied intercourse, Macy then stalks around the girl’s apartment for fifteen minutes, hollering speeches about, I dunno, existentialism or something. All the while wildly brandishing a bloody knuckle-duster/combat knife. The young lady does not do what any other young lady would do, i.e. run like hell and call the cops. No, she hangs on every word of Mamet-Speak until the knife, like Chekov’s gun, does what it’s required to do.
It’s a ludicrous scene from a bad play. A Mamet play. We are also supposed to believe that Macy, a man giving his age as 47, has lived all this time in a city which appears to be entirely a vast red light district but he has no idea how a peep show works, has never been to a strip club and doesn’t have a clue about the rules, and despite ranting at random strangers in bars about the N-words in bars, Macy happily offers money to pimps and hookers in dark alleys. He’s never heard about any of these vices, apparently. Which is why he’s so bad at them.
Also, Macy’s transition from office drone to obsessive poon-hound takes place within five minutes, and is triggered merely by having an appointment rescheduled. Throw in some anvilicious Tarot card readings, and we’re off to the degradation races.
And then the prison experience, which lets Macy deliver yet another extended man-to-man Mamet-Speak session with his cellmate, the kind of pseudo-macho college dorm bull session interchange that’s somewhere between cringe-worthy and unintentionally (I assume unintentionally) hilarious.
Macy’s hangdog expression is supposed to represent the anomie of the middle class office worker, I guess, but it’s really tiresome. He delivers his racist rants without convincing us that they’re not just lines from a bad stage play. In other movies, his rubber features and rueful smile can be charming. Here, not so much.
The name Macy got me to click on this turkey; stubbornness kept me watching to the end, hoping there’d be some sort of payoff. I mean, he’s done so much good work in so many movies. Not this one. Also, the Amazon stream was terrible, freezing just about every two minutes and pixelating in between.
I was not impressed. Other viewers? Depends on if you thought "Glengarry Glen Ross" was vital and important, or just self-indulgent actors' studio hollering. If you love a Mamet with a side of race baiting, maybe "Edmond" is for you. I'll wait for the next one.