Quasi (2023) Movie Review: The legendary tale of Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame, is one that many are familiar with. However, in the latest offering from the comedy troupe Broken Lizard, aptly titled Quasi, audiences are introduced to a version that they may not have heard before. While the film may not be for everyone, it offers a unique and entertaining take on the classic story.
Set in medieval times, Quasi follows the disfigured peasant as he finds himself embroiled in a dangerous game of royal intrigue. After catching the eye of the queen of France, Quasi is invited to a dinner with the obnoxious king, who asks him to assassinate the pope. But things take a surprising turn when the pope himself asks Quasi to kill the king.
At first glance, Broken Lizard’s latest film may appear to be a departure from their typical comedic style. The movie takes place in a medieval setting and loosely draws inspiration from Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”. Furthermore, each member of the troupe takes on multiple roles, evoking a sense of Monty Python-esque absurdity. However, despite these apparent differences, the film remains true to the group’s signature brand of humor: irreverent, vulgar, and playfully nonsensical.
For fans of Broken Lizard’s previous work, Quasi is sure to be a treat. The film’s costumes, accents, and anachronisms all serve to enhance the overall silliness of the production, creating an enjoyable romp that is uniquely Broken Lizard. However, for those expecting a traditional narrative structure, Quasi may come as a disappointment. This is not a film that takes itself too seriously, and those looking for a serious period piece will likely be left wanting.
While the plot of the film Quasi could have been handled with more urgency, authenticity, and suspense, it would have likely resulted in a generic and formulaic movie. The Broken Lizard team, on the other hand, have honed their brand of handmade, good-natured humor over the years. They understand that their style doesn’t necessarily require tight storytelling or sharp acting to be effective. Essentially, the film’s lack of emphasis on plot intricacy is not a weakness, but rather a deliberate choice that plays to the strengths of the Broken Lizard brand.
By blending their trademark humor with a medieval setting, the group has created a film that is both familiar and fresh, and is sure to delight fans of irreverent comedy. Directed by Kevin Heffernan, who also stars alongside the rest of the Broken Lizard troupe, Quasi is a high-stakes political affair that manages to maintain the group’s trademark goofy and lighthearted energy. While the film may not always hit the mark, it is an entertaining romp that is sure to provide some laughs.
At its core, Quasi explores the theme of repressed bromance between Quasi and his “hut-mate” Duchamp. Both men refuse to acknowledge that they are each other’s best friends, adding an unexpected layer of depth to the film.
One of the standout elements of Quasi is the way in which it manages to balance its absurd and comedic tone with moments of surprising emotional depth. The film’s exploration of the repressed bromance between Quasi and Duchamp serves as a reminder that even the most outlandish tales can have moments of real human connection.
That being said, there are moments in Quasi where the film’s zany antics feel like they’re bordering on the edge of over-the-top. While this is certainly parred for the course when it comes to Broken Lizard’s brand of humor, there are times when the film’s more outrageous moments feel like they detract from the overall story. However, this is a minor quibble in the grand scheme of things, and overall Quasi is a delightful romp that is sure to please fans of the comedy troupe.
The parodic period-piece framework also allows for a host of whimsical and offbeat jokes that are sure to delight fans of the Broken Lizard style. While Quasi may not be the group’s strongest offering, it is a fun and enjoyable movie that is well worth a watch.