The amusing indie “A Bad Idea Gone Wrong” is like a decent late-night supper thrown together with random items from the back of the fridge and a cupboard or two. It can be a nice surprise, but show up too hungry and you might be left wanting.
First-time feature writer-director Jason Headley’s far-fetched story finds rudderless pals and budding burglars Marlon (Matt Jones) and Leo (Will Rogers) too-easily breaking into a house — in a gated community, no less — that Leo somehow knows is unoccupied and worth robbing.
But when they accidentally arm the home’s security alarm, effectively trapping them inside, and then encounter feisty housesitter Darcy (Eleanore Pienta) asleep upstairs, Marlon and Leo’s worst-laid plans turn, well, even worse.
Despite its many loose ends, Headley keeps the featherweight plot afloat with twists, offhand humor and bits of warmth as Marlon, Leo and Darcy grapple with their peculiar situation. To reveal much more might kill this mostly single-location film’s minor buzzes, but suffice to say events ultimately benefit the hapless trio in ways they couldn’t have predicted.
Headley has created three oddly memorable folks here, no small feat given their detail-light histories. It’s also a testament to the able cast — especially the enjoyably nimble Rogers — that we invest in their characters and their cockeyed plight as much as we do.
‘A Bad Idea Gone Wrong’
Running time: 1 hour, 21 minutes.
Playing: Cinemark Century Stadium 15, Orange; also on VOD