A scene from "Blue Collar Boys." (Blue Collar Boys )
It's amateur night in Jersey as a group of hard-luck construction workers battle "the man" in the ham-fisted, recession-era drama "Blue Collar Boys."
Writer-producer-director Mark Nistico clearly has a lot on his mind about the haves versus the have-nots. Unfortunately, he expresses his angst here via such an unsympathetic bunch of ready-to-rumble knuckleheads you practically end up siding with the film's brick-subtle bad guys.
At the center of the mayhem is Charlie (Gabe Fazio), a sometimes conscientious 27-year-old who works for his financially-strapped dad's (Bruce Kirkpatrick) contracting business until contrived events land Charlie in charge.
But making a legitimate buck has its challenges, especially when a cruel land developer (Ed Setrakian) is calling the shots. So Charlie and his "boys"--the hair-trigger Nazo (Kevin Interdonato), gangsta wannabe Slim (Russ Russo) and the hefty, abusive Mason (Joshua Paled)--get involved in a fuzzy criminal enterprise to stay afloat, resulting in a wildly convoluted and overlong third act.
Nistico's clichéd, sledgehammer dialogue alone is enough to shut this one down. But it's a clunky family fight in which Kevin's shrill mother (Sonja Stuart) has a major meltdown that truly embodies the picture's awfulness. It's not believable for a second.
"Blue Collar Boys." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes. At Laemmle's NoHo 7, North Hollywood.