Review: Henry Selick and Jordan Peele collaborate for rewarding and offbeat ‘Wendell & Wild’
Wendell & Wild is the first movie by its creators and stars Henry Selick and Jordan Peele, who have never worked together. Both are credited with the screenplay.
But as a film, it feels wholly different.
Wendell (Peele) and his best friend Alex (Selick) go to a pool hall with a band called Wendell & Wild, and to an empty swimming pool. Alex’s not sure if he wants to swim—he’s not sure how he feels about the relationship he had with Wendell. Wendell just wants to be left alone. He’s the leader, and the rest of them are just the audience. His best friend is a drunk, and a racist.
So, for a while, Alex doesn’t swim. Wendell, meanwhile, gets a tattoo, and the next day he gets drunk again.
The story is simple. For a while, it is like that.
But there’s something else. An underlay of tension.
The film is an ensemble comedy from a pair of talented writers that doesn’t play by the usual rules. So when the joke turns on the line about racist tattoo, you notice. When Alex decides not to swim, you notice.
Because the undercurrent of tension is palpable and not just in what Wendell does or doesn’t do.
After the pool, they go to a bar. Alex gets into a dispute with the bartender over his order. Wendell is an actor, and doesn’t seem like he has a clue what he’s talking about, when talking to a stranger. On their way back, Wendell is very rude to Alex. He’s also an actor, and seems perfectly at ease in such a