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Review: ‘On Cinema’ spinoff ‘Mister America’ is strictly for the initiated

Tim Heidecker, ‘Mister America’
Tim Heidecker in the mockumentary “Mister America.”
(Magnolia Pictures)

Prolific actor-comedian-musician Tim Heidecker may have a sizable cult following but it’s doubtful he’ll find many new fans with his latest effort, the tedious and laugh-free mockumentary “Mister America.”

Heidecker, known as one-half of the comedy duo “Tim and Eric” (he and Eric Wareheim have created and starred in many offbeat TV shows, web series and features), plays a fictional version of himself as a toxic dolt running for San Bernardino County district attorney against all odds — and logic.

After eluding charges on “second degree felony murder” (long story), Heidecker mounts a hopeless battle to unseat arch enemy and incumbent DA Vincent Rosetti (Don Pecchia), with the help of uber-inept campaign manager Toni (Terri Parks).

It’s all being documented by a film crew that captures the quasi-Trumpian Heidecker as he goes from bad to worse in rude, clueless, often unhinged attempts to muster voter support and undermine Rosetti.

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Meantime, a dweeby movie nut (Gregg Turkington) doggedly tries to expose Heidecker for the hollow poser that he is.

Director Eric Notarnicola, who wrote the mainly improvised film with Heidecker and Turkington (the trio also teamed on the satirical “On Cinema” podcast, web series and TV show, of which “America” is a spinoff), struggles to bring momentum to things, but it’s a heavy lift. Still, Heidecker devotees may be satisfied.

'Mister America'
Rated: R, for language and some drug use

Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

Playing: Starts Oct. 9, Alamo Drafthouse, downtown Los Angeles; also in limited release one night only Oct. 9.


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