For someone who isn’t supposed to be famous anymore, Shia LaBeouf seems to be appearing in a lot of films at the moment, all the while practicing his own unique form of extreme method acting (apparently he took LSD as a form of ‘research’ for this particular film). Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly helping the actor as he is only one of the many things wrong with Fredrik Bond’s drama-comedy-romance-crime film.
LaBeouf has certainly come a long way since his days on Even Stevens, at least personally; his acting however, still leaves much to be desired. Although, this could because the eponymous character isn’t really given much characterisation, aside from his mother dying at the very beginning of the film; there is very little sympathy to be found for the character. Granted the film is meant to act as a means by which Charlie discovers himself, thereby making him more sympathetic, but in the end he really doesn’t seem to have discovered anything, aside from how to take multiple punches to the face and still be able to speak.
Sadly, the supporting cast doesn’t really fare much better. Both Evan Rachel Wood and Til Schweiger deliver abysmal Romanian accents, and having Rupert Grint play as an aspiring porn star isn’t exactly the most natural of casting decisions. One of the few actors to be half-decent is James Buckley, and that’s only because he recycles his character from The Inbetweeners, albeit with significantly more drugs. In fact, Mads Mikkelsen is perhaps the only member of the cast who gives an acceptable performance as a psychopathic gangster called Nigel (well nothing’s perfect).
The film itself is radically incoherent, having no real sense of direction which is mainly a result of the film’s short runtime. One moment Charlie and Gabi (Woods) are enjoying a romantic bonding experience, the next Grint and Buckley’s characters have taken Charlie and the audience on a Viagra-fuelled trip to a strip club, only for the protagonist then to be pursued by Romanian gangsters through a subway. All in all, Charlie Countryman is a hodgepodge of random themes that is best avoided at all costs.