An American Pickle. Quick Review

This rather odd HBO Max original ( acquired from Sony) was a pandemic theatrical release for UK audiences. none of the cinemas around this critic played the film at the time so he caught up with it on VOD.
An immigrant worker at an American factory ( Seth Rogen) it’s preserved in pickle brine for 100 years. He wakes up to find that is only living relative is his great-grandson ( also Seth Rogen.) On a very basic level, the film delivers what viewers might expect from that premise. Rogan’s duel performance may be solid but for long stretches the narrative feels much more like an overly extended sketch then something truly deserving of a feature-length runtime ( even after relatively brief 87 minutes.) Things drastically improve when the central 1919 character is interacting with 2019 society. Rogans performance it’s very committed to the central gag within the sequences. The slightly broader scope of these sections pays dividends in extending the film beyond a premise that would be better suited for a short. The third act extends the gag even further with the central character putting his 1919 values on modern social media. it’s here where the satire truly shines. Once again this section could have been very easily repackaged as it’s pwn narrative extremely effectively. It’s difficult to say whether the high points elevate the overall package to something beyond a rather strange but familiar curio. That said if audiences want proof that Seth Rogen is a decent actor when given the chance to shine and doesn’t always rely on playing a version of himself this is a good showcase for that.

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