By Don Simpson | August 7, 2015
Director: Alex R. Johnson
Writer: Alex R. Johnson
Starring: James Landry Hébert, Skyy Moore, Beth Broderick, Jason Douglas, Ashley Rae Spillers, Barry Tubb, Brady Coleman, Jesse Dayton, Dale Watson, Laurie Gallardo, Kathy Rose Center, Libby Villari, Johnny Snyder
Even though it seems inevitable that the two disparate storylines of Alex R. Johnson’s Two Step will eventually intersect, the result of their collision is not nearly as predictable; the fact that the narratives of the two characters do not become intertwined until the final third of the film seems practically revolutionary. There is the story of James (Skyy Moore), an orphaned teen who was recently kicked out of college and moved into his grandmother’s house in Austin. James seems like a sweet kid but is just a bit too lazy to survive on his own. Matching James stride for stride in terms of laziness is Webb (James Landry Herbert), who’s parallel story reveals that he is just about as smarmy as they come, scamming money from naive seniors with a history of abusing his girlfriend (Ashley Rae Spillers) to boot.
What Two Step does best is make the viewer hate Webb. In James Landry Herbert’s highly capable hands, Webb is sculpted into a vile human being. It is impossible not to find Webb totally despicable, yet his character is eerily realistic. Webb is one of those small time thieves who is scraping the bottom of the barrel in a desperate effort to survive. It is embarrassing just how far he gets, irregardless of his unabashed stupidity.
Two Step is a contemplation on laziness and the American dream of getting rich quick. Whether you do so legally or illegally, it still is not right. To paraphrase a wise old commercial, you need to get rich the old fashioned way, earn it.
Although they have small roles, it is the presence of names like Ashley Rae Spillers, Dale Watson, and Laurie Gallardo that transform Two Step into a true Austin nugget. (Yes, Spillers moved away, but she will always be an Austinite.) Gallardo’s one brief scene is utterly priceless and the most memorable of the entire film.