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Caper comedy 'Carter & June' can't live up to Tarantino-influenced excess

Caper comedy 'Carter & June' can't live up to Tarantino-influenced excess
Samaire Armstrong and Michael Raymond-James in "Carter & June." (Freestyle Digital Media)

"Carter & June," written and directed by Nicholas Kalikow, is a wacky, Southern-fried heist comedy; a neon-saturated "Bonnie & Clyde" heavily influenced by "Pulp Fiction."

Small town low-life Carter (Michael Raymond-James) teams up with June (Samaire Armstrong) along with assorted eccentrics to attempt a series of increasingly dubious bank robberies. They want to score big, but Carter's under pressure to repay the money he owes to local strip club impresario Spencer Rabbit (Timothy Omundson), a character who falls somewhere between Col. Sanders and Leonardo DiCaprio's Calvin Candie in "Django Unchained."

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Along the way, Carter and June pick up more accomplices, from a local police officer to a couple who believe they're ordained by God to steal money and start a church. It all turns into a complex, swampy mess of mishaps and love triangles that inevitably ends in a strip club shootout.

"Carter & June" has some campy charm, especially Omundson's thundering performance, and Lindsay Musil as the manic, Jesus-loving Barbie doll Darla Mae. But it relies too heavily on the old-school idea that nudity, violence and a whole lot of red lighting translate into edginess. We understand that Carter and June, the least interesting people in this whole debacle, are supposed to find love together, but whether or not they do becomes increasingly unimportant. This crime spree may have style to spare, but that's about all that's holding it together.

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‘Carter & June’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes

Playing: AMC Sunset 5, West Hollywood

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