Directed by: John McElroy and #BrettJones
Written by: John McElroy and #RandyWright
Rocky Mountain Fast Guy, a sprawling tale of twanging guitar blues starring John McElroy (who co-directs with Brett Jones and co-writes with Randy Wright) as a wannabe country singer-songwriter whose luck is as bad as his dress sense - there are a lot of flannel shirts. As he makes his way from one exciting adventure to the next in search of Nashville and fame, he encounters many of life's heroes and villains.
Outgrowing his family's Florida ranch, Guy (McElroy) gets banged up after picking up the spoils of a botched robbery. This leads him onto a path with destiny which includes the likes of drug kingpins, scam artists, strippers, drug-taking cops and a Johnny Cash tribute "artist" (Mark Troy).
It's a zany comedy adventure movie with plenty of action. Following a #roadtrip genre structure, Rocky Mountain Fast Guy boldly attempts a huge number of locations and characters, as well as an ambitious running time. Many of the set pieces are comically timed yet there is a large amount of pathos surrounding the events which transpire for our musical protagonist. The juxtaposition of comedy and drama works well, allowing heavier plot moments (such as the abuse his mother experiences at the hands of her boyfriend) to coexist in harmony with scenes involving Guy's hapless exploits.
There are a lot of rough edges to the indie film and viewers would be forgiven for picking up riffs and melodies from numerous other road trip or musical biopic movies. Guy's quest for stardom is a familiar but still charming one and his array of mind-boggling incidents are at least unique to him. The film feels contrived due to the chaptered nature of the plot, as if for all Guy's supposed misfortune he still manages to emerge unscathed and ready for the next installment. He also has this unwavering confidence in his musical abilities, which whilst fair enough, makes his character less sympathetic.
The performances are likable across the board. Even if many of the supporting players only get a fraction of screen time they are still pleasant to be around. Felipe Fernandez as a badass drug dealer is a standout for me and McElroy is by and large an easy to warm to presence. The songs are great with fable-like lyrics narrating the movie and a few excellent live performances dotted around to engage with.
From a fundamental perspective, Rocky Mountain Fast Guy feels flawed. The character is interesting and plenty of conflict occurs in his life but the constant on-the-run approach to tell his story feels like we are getting the Greatest Hits album rather than the meaty first record with all the angst and despair needed to fully connect with the material.
Watch the official movie trailer below.