Punch Buggy, the new short film from artist Jason Innocent, is a highly entertaining wild ride. Featuring the voice talents of Jordan Wadley and a script by Carlton K Holder, the animated short features two friends getting into an argument about Kanye West’s best song. As the argument heats up, new information comes to light that leads into an unexpected ending.
For a short film that doesn’t run for more than a couple of minutes, Punch Buggy sure does pack a lot of punch. Featuring disagreements and slurs, two avid Kanye West fans aggressively debate which of the singer’s songs is the best. The director keeps things simple and interesting as we, the audience, clearly get to know the personalities of the two characters and why they think they like their own particular songs of Kanye West. A seemingly normal conversation soon devolves into an argument and the argument then takes a strange turn. The film’s greatest strength is how it subverts expectations and how it takes the audience on a ride that feels original.
The animation is simplistic but that doesn’t take anything away from what the film is trying to say. The final act of violence happens offscreen and we only hear about it but for two supposed friends who were just arguing about a song, it sure does feel like overkill. Nevertheless, the act is in line with what the maker of the film is trying to convey and for an avant garde film, it does feel like exactly the kind of thing an artist would do.
Regarding the voice acting, the actors behind the two characters do a good job of bringing life to their two respective characters. The arguments feel both natural and organic and the writers have done a fantastic job of ensuring that the final violent twist is completely unexpected and that the argument, in no way, reflects what is about to transpire on screen. The pacing of the film is perfect, and the narrative momentum keeps pace with the fast changing nature of the conversation. All the technical aspects of the film are well done and even though it looks as if the film was made on a shoestring budget, its heart is in the right place.
Kanye West has always been an artist that has not only appealed to both critics and casual fans alike but also evoked strong reactions from different demographics for various reasons. With recent controversies, the artist has reached a level of infamy that is hard to top for even the most ardent of musicians in the entire history of the industry. With lyrics that hit right at the heart, Kanye West has been hailed by many to be one of the best rappers alive today and several of his songs have achieved cult status effortlessly. It is therefore extremely interesting to see an artist’s perspective of how a disagreement between two friends in regard to the singer’s best song might play out.
Punch Buggy is therefore very much a short made from passion as much as it is a film meant to experiment with both narrative length and structure. Artist Jason Innocent has created a potent film, one that succeeds in more ways than one.