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Da Block

average rating is 2 out of 5


Joe Beck


Posted on:

Aug 16, 2023

Film Reviews
Da Block
Directed by:
Velton Lishke
Written by:
Jay Connor, Velton Lishke
Lladel Bryant, Jay Connor, Velton Lishke, Brad Nicholson

Dildos are enjoying their moment in the spotlight in cinema at the moment. After featuring prominently in a now legendary scene in last years Oscar winning ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’, they make a reappearance in the British comedy short ‘Da Block’. Similarly used in a fight scene, ‘Da Block’s use of the strap-on is perhaps reflective of the film as a whole. Being too farfetched and consciously erratic that the humour of such an inappropriate toy is largely lost, with the joke itself the story, rather than being a part of the story as it should be.


We follow Mikey (Lladel Bryant) and Sully (Jay Connor), as they face off to take control of ‘Da Block’. The two characters, as the film is at pains to make clear, are named after the central duo of Pixar’s iconic ‘Monsters Inc.’, even reflecting those characters in a way that could almost have Pixar and Disney’s lawyers on the phone for copyright infringement. Mikey is the more organised, streetwise of the pair, whilst Sully is a bit of a putz, making up for his lack of brains with his supposedly loveable demeanour and personality, though this does not translate to the audience.


Their battle for ‘Da Block’ against the middle-aged duo of Razor (Velton Lishke) and Bullethead (Brad Nicholson) is promised to be legendary, with antagonism between the two pairs supposedly through the roof. Instead they appear more friends than sworn enemies, with actors even smiling as they are beaten by one another. The script by Jay Connor and Velton Lishke does not create enough tension between the two groups to properly feel the relief of the unserious stand off, and so instead we are left sighing at a set up clear from the outset plays out as expected, and is far too long and repetitive. Velton Lishke’s direction fails to add anything to the film, and feels extremely basic, relying too often on numerous cuts and failing to hold a shot.


Another issue with the script is the humour. It’s not that the jokes are lacking, its that they aren’t well written, and are often, like the strap-on joke, repeated to the point that they become incessantly annoying rather than entertaining. They lose the element of surprise very quickly, and when the lines aren’t being delivered well by the actors, that surprise is critical to keep people laughing. Poorly delivered, bland, repetitive lines lose the interest of the audience, and thus they become less invested in a story that is already difficult to enjoy.


There’s an element of the sitcom ‘Man Like Mobeen’ about ‘Da Block’, but it’s as though every character is Nate, a fish out of water on the streets, losing the authenticity of the film, as it lacks any dramatic grounding to allow its comedic elements to truly soar. ‘Da Block’ is a film that fails to understand that in order to have successful comedy it must inherently be dramatic as well, and as such quickly becomes irritating through its incessant zaniness and lack of engaging story.

About the Film Critic
Joe Beck
Joe Beck
Short Film
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