Tweetable Takeaway: An incredibly talented cast plays in a hilarious sandbox created by Roberto and Kim Benabib, directed by Jay Roach. Tweet
Airtime: Sunday at 10:30pm on HBO
By: Eric Rodriguez, Contributor
The Brink is a hilarious comedy about three men caught in the middle of an uprising in Pakistan. The main characters are the lustful Secretary of State, Walter Larson, a drug dealing Navy Pilot sent to bomb a house in Islamabad, and slacker entry-level diplomat, Alex Talbot.
Heroes aren’t born; they’re out scoring weed when all hell breaks loose.
Alex Talbot, played by Jack Black, is a “functionary at the State Department, at the lowest level.” The story begins with Talbot asking his boss, the ambassador, for a transfer. The ambassador is going to transfer him right out of a job. It’s a busy day, recent elections were held and one of the candidates, General Umair Zaman doesn’t accept his defeat.
Talbot coerces a driver, Rafiq, to take him into town on an errand. Rafiq thinks it’s a bad day for Talbot’s bullshit, he feels a rage in the air. He’s even more upset when he realizes Talbot went out in the rising unrest to score some “exquisite” weed, the thing he’ll miss most when he leaves his post. A board full of nails disables their car close to a heated demonstration. The rowdy crowd attacks the vehicle, shots are fired, Rafiq and Talbot escape on foot. Rafiq knows this isn’t a spontaneous protest, but a planned military operation. The closest, safest place he can think to hide is his parents’ house.
Though Talbot has never met Rafiq’s parents, they have heard a lot about him. Rafiq’a mother disapproves of the way Talbot treats Rafiq. The hot sister, Fareeda, thinks Talbot is a buffoon. His father is a little more understanding. He’s a popular thriller author with a deal pending at Random House. Uncle Hasan, renown psychologist and university professor, thinks Talbot may be a CIA agent.
Locals believe General Zaman is a CIA backed operative and taking control of their country. Hasan knows Zaman is crazy, he treated him for years. As they sleep, Talbot sneaks into Hasan’s office, finds the medical file on Zaman, and faxes it to Larson
“An Army marches on its stomach, Walter Larson marches on his dick.”
Secretary of State Walter Larson is in bed with a hooker when he gets ordered to report to the situation room. President Navarro wants options for dealing with the unrest in Pakistan, but State and Defense see two completely different responses. Defense wants to bomb missile sites in Pakistan, Larson wants to hold a summit.
General Zaman’s message is broadcast to the situation room. He blames American drones for causing Pakistani men to go sterile and threatens to destroy Israel. Avi, the Israeli Prime Minister, says he’ll launch an attack against Zaman’s forces if Navarro does not. Talbot’s fax arrives, but only three pages of thirty. Those pages show the profile of a deranged and unstable man. Navarro orders a strike based on that intelligence.
Navy Pilot Zeke Tilson has plenty of unrest in his own life.
Zeke deals drugs to the sailors on his aircraft carrier, but his supply is far short of the demand. He doesn’t get much cooperation from his supplier, ex-wife Ashley, who works at a pharmacy. She’s pissed because he’s late on support payments. Add to this disturbance, he finds out from his co-pilot, the public affairs officer, Gail Sweet, he’s been sleeping with, is pregnant. He’s under water with his mortgages and doesn’t make enough flying for the Navy.
Zeke gets chosen for a special mission bombing a site in a residential neighborhood in Islamabad. He takes one of many pills he carries with him for the flight and gives one to his co-pilot; they think its Xanax, but it turns out to be something completely different. The drug takes effect as he approaches the target area and has to answer a streaming conference with the President in the situation room. He barely gets through his introduction when the co-pilot flips out and the plane rolls out of control. They’re both on a really bad trip.
What could possibly go wrong?
This show is funny top to bottom. Talbot has to escape the Pakistani army, Zeke has to level out and calm down, and Larson has to keep his pants on long enough to execute a peaceful solution. Looking forward to march of lunacy The Brink promises to deliver.
Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.