I'm a huge fan of documentaries. Whether it be things I love (Word Wars) things I have no interest in (Air Guitar Nation) or things that will chill you to the bone (the Bridge) I can't get enough of them.
Over the weekend, I watched Heckler. The premise as explained to me was comedians dealings with hecklers over the years. Based on this I was very excited to watch it.
However, while a good idea for a documentary, too many of the scenes were fake or staged, almost bordering on pathetic. There are several scenes of Jamie Kennedy (the host of sorts) bombing on stage that are very obviously not real. There were scenes of another comic (whose name escapes me) where they took scenes of his actual stand up and edited in separate scenes of him getting the better of said hecklers. These scenes are very poorly edited it, as evident by the lighting and angles used. Very poor film work.
When these incidents are compared to scenes of actual comics (Bill Hicks, Andrew Dice Clay, Bill Maher and others) dealing with actual hecklers, it made the ‘staged’ scenes seem even more fake and the phony scenes took away from the specialness of the real scenes.
Then, like half way through, the focus changes from the stand up aspect to film and internet critics. I think by focusing on just the stand up end of things, they could have made a very compelling film. Instead, by half the doc focusing on essentially the bashing of movie critics and the internet as a whole, it ends up uneven and unsatisfying.
Recommendation to avoid.