Dominic Willis has been pretty lucky during the COVID-19 pandemic. He still has his lovely suburban home, a nice sports car, and a hefty truck. He didn’t lose his job like millions of other Americans, and he only had to make a few minor changes to his regular routine. See, he’s a delivery man, so he’s simply been tossing his goods to buyers after they pull up to his front door. Occasionally, he drops a few packages off (while masked up, of course) and has been doing his best to navigate these strange times – just like the rest of us. What does he deliver, you ask? Cocaine. He delivers a ton of cocaine on a daily basis. He also might be a body-snatching alien. You know, the usual stuff. He’s just like the rest of us, I promise!


‘Veneer’ tells a charming story about the idiosyncratic Dominic as he tries to pull off his master plan. Right from the get-go, it’s clear that there’s something a little…off…about our gold-toothed lead. Something weirder than just him being a dude who deals cocaine and seems to subsist solely off of french fries and ice cream, that is. The movie takes its time in slowly unraveling his master plan and has some genuine surprises up its sleeve. It subverts audience expectations – at first, you might think he’s a creepy serial killer, but the truth is much stranger. The best moments in the film are when Dominic attempts to interact with those around him like a normal guy. He stumbles through conversations extremely awkwardly, and has a ridiculously gravelly voice. At one point, he sees a girl he’s interested in, and instead of saying hello or approaching her, he waves fanatically at her instead. He also seems to think that having multiple American flags will help him blend in more – he adorns his back patio with flags, tapers them up all around his house, and even wears clothing covered in the flag. Naturally, this has the opposite effect and makes him look weirder than ever. Dominic also has some, uh, unique methods when it comes to problem-solving. At one point, his neighbor pops by to ask if Dominic would be willing to let the neighborhood kids use the basketball hoop that’s in Dominic’s backyard. Dominic tries to get out of the situation by spouting a pre-rehearsed line about COVID, but quickly realizes that his neighbor won’t back down. Dominic decides that the best way to keep the kids out of his yard would be to simply always play basketball out back. From this moment forward, Dominic spends hours at a time playing atrociously bad basketball by himself. There’s another point where his truck dies, and instead of buying a new truck, he decides to abduct and bodysnatch a repairman with a large vehicle instead. He’s an amusing character, and silly situations like this are bound to elicit a few chuckles.

 

The soundtrack to the film is fantastic and has everything from soothing indie acoustic jams to hip hop tracks from up and comer Nate Rose. The film is a comedy at its core, and moments like Dominic snorting cocaine off of a mirror or humping the air are often scored with a rather soothing song. The contrast of the absolutely bonkers things happening on screen coupled with the gentle music makes these scenes that much more amusing. Again, it’s a clever subversion of audience expectations. The actors are all gloriously hammy. The production is low-budget, and there’s a certain charm to the fact that the cocaine shown throughout the film is very obviously just flour. A few sequences (like some ridiculously long cocaine snorting montages) do drag a little long and feel like it’s mostly there to pad the runtime, but overall, it’s a funny film. It remains to be seen whether or not it will satisfy most audiences.


Share: