Average Joe 2023 / This dark comedy succeeds by placing ordinary people in extraordinary events


The success of Average Joe’s humor lies in showing us how ordinary people realistically react to extraordinary events (in this case, being hunted down by the Russian mafia). Joe and his friends are blue-collar workers who barely make ends meet, so it makes sense that they won’t immediately know expert self-defense. They’re no John Wick, they don’t have combat skills hidden up their sleeves. And even with a police accomplice, they wouldn’t know how to hide bodies and launder money. But they’re forced to try, and those attempts are as clumsy as they are darkly funny. One of Joe’s friends fumbles a body part they try to hide and vomits at the sight of blood. Meanwhile, his wife comes up with all sorts of uncanny solutions, such as slathering peanut butter on dead bodies to attract hungry animals in the woods. The tonal shifts can be jarring sometimes, but the show is consistently funny and frightening. It’s also just refreshing to see everyday people go through all the fuss action stars go through and place ourselves in their shoes. Joe and his friends are just like us, but funnier and way more prone to gore. 

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