Written and directed by Jay and Mark Duplass, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon is a surprisingly witty and endearing tale of two brothers, haunted by childhood rivalries, who struggle to connect with each other on an emotional level and to stop beating the crap out of each other to show their love and affection.
Twenty-some-odd years ago, brothers Mark (Steve Zissis) and Jeremy (Mark Kelly) decided to settle their fraternal rivalry through a twenty-five event competition they named the “Do-Deca-Pentathlon.” The Do-Deca winner would be crowned “the better brother for all eternity.” Tied after twenty-four events, the brothers’ competition was accidentally thwarted by interference during the twenty-fifth event. One claimed foul play, the other a win, and the resultant resentment drove a seemingly permanent stake in Mark and Jeremy’s relationship. When unexpectedly reunited for a weekend to celebrate Mark’s birthday, the brothers decide to hold the “Do-Deca-Pentathlon Redux,” to settle things once and for all. To accomplish this monumental task, the Do-Deca duo must not only complete twenty-five events, but also dodge Mark’s disapproving wife, Stephanie (Jennifer Lafleur), and their mother (Julie Vorus), and avoid setting a terrible lesson for Mark’s son, Hunter (Reid Williams).
The Do-Deca-Pentathlon‘s primary strength is the relatability of its main characters, Mark and Jeremy. We’ve all met guys like these two–grown men desperately clinging to glories of the past to feel like winners in the present–and it’s not hard to imagine encountering them mid-competition at the local track, pool, or laser tag arena. Zissis and Kelly bring a unique and often laugh-out-loud funny intensity to these average schmoes. At moments, you almost pity them for taking the Do-Deca as seriously as they do…and yet, you just can’t seem to look away. The same goes for the brothers’ emotional struggle. As petty as the cause of their multi-decade strife may seem, you can’t help but hope for their ultimate reconciliation.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
- Meet the Real Brothers
- Rock, Paper, Scissors with the Real Brothers
The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, is now available on Blu-ray, DVD, iTunes (buy and rent), and Amazon Instant (buy and rent).
Still on the fence? Check out Screen Invasion’s interview with Jay Duplass!
All photos: © 2012 – Duplass Brothers Productions.