American Athletes 

The Do-Deca-Pentathlon Isn't Really a Sports Movie

THE DO-DECA-PENTATHLON Next up: tiddlywinks!

THE DO-DECA-PENTATHLON Next up: tiddlywinks!

THIS SUMMER, as the world comes together for the Olympic games, maybe you should be honest with yourself and admit that raw athleticism isn't really your thing. Thankfully, you have an alternative: The Do-Deca-Pentathlon. This indie film from mumblecore darlings Mark and Jay Duplass follows brothers Mark (Steve Zissis) and Jeremy (Mark Kelly) as they recreate a family competition—"the Do-Deca"—that put a rift in their relationship decades ago. While the rest of the family is planning Mark's birthday party, these schlubby dudes duck away to compete in much more accessible events, like leg wrestling, laser tag, and holding their breath underwater. Each battle of strength is shot like a climactic scene from Friday Night Lights, with triumphant music and close-ups on their not-athletic bodies.

But it ain't all fun and skee-ball, since the rest of the movie has a starkly different tone: The brothers' damaged relationship is a bummer, they act like selfish jerks to the rest of the family, and in contrast to how being a regular sports fan works, you'll find yourself rooting for them both to lose. The sweet-and-salty combo works, however, and the film paints a far more honest portrait of American athleticism than Bob Costas ever could. Face the facts: You're not going to participate in the Olympics. But everybody could kick ass in the Do-Deca.

The Do-Deca-Pentathlon
Rated R · 90 min.
Official Site:
Director: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass
Writer: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass
Producer: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass and Stephanie Langhoff
Cast: Brendan Robinson, Mark Kelly, Noël Wells, Steve Zissis and Laurie Lee

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