Review by Mark Schwab
Director Jim Whipple and writer Matt Clifford's short film STRAYED OUTTA COMPTON wastes no time in playing on the words and over-meme'd poster art from STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON. Constructed mainly as a YouTube series pilot, it is almost a throwback to 80's style sitcoms but is that a good thing? Maybe.
The incident that gets things going is a small house party where new co-workers (the guys) meet at someone's house and bring the wives. It's one of those mandated societal situations that most employees feel forced to do so they can build a social network and a "teamwork spirit" which will translate to a more positive office environment.
The creators do a good job establishing a vibe of this inherent phoniness. The wives (including the host wife) all look like they'd rather be anywhere else than the party, listlessly nibbling on the cheese and crackers but very quickly pouring large glasses of wine while lobbing off quick sarcastic barbs. It is when one of them announces they have brought a DVD of THE HUNGER GAMES for them to all watch together (talk about throwback!) where the next plot point emerges - somehow they received a copy of STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON instead! Well, there's nothing else to compensate for their social awkwardness, so they throw it in and let it spin, the consequences being that the six (very) white party goers start to take on the "colorful" mannerisms and dialects of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, et al. They become....corrupted?....by the movie.
I know...this sounds like it could be a SERIOUS train wreck of political (un)correctness but it is surprisingly good-natured and even quite amusing at times. This is mainly due to the cast, all of whom do a solid job of comedic timing and direction which suggests that none of this is to be taken at all seriously.
So even though the jokes are hit or miss, the satire aims at very low targets and the production isn't exactly "cinematic", the 12-minute pilot plays briskly enough to keep you entertained. They did enough here to make me want to watch their next episode. If Whipple and Clifford can tighten up their jokes and take a few more risks with the themes in their material then they might have something which could break out beyond the YouTube ghetto.