Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson is back (I’m always happy to write that), this time as a hitman for hire in the action comedy film Paying Mr. McGetty. R. Marcos Taylor plays Tyrell, a down on his luck dry cleaning service driver who wakes up after a hard night of partying and gambling next to a beautiful woman named Cecelia (Alissa Schneider). His girlfriend keeps calling him, wondering where he’s been all night and letting him know their landlord, Mr. McGetty, wants the rent money. If that wasn’t bad enough, Cecelia is the daughter of a mob boss and her boyfriend is a low level mob goon, and a price is on Tyrell’s head for something he actually didn’t do.
That’s basically the story. And the one thing that disappointed me about the film. Not enough Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson. Working with director Michael Baumgarten again (previously on the fun The Martial Arts Kid), this is Wilson as a more hardened killer who, as we see in the first scene he kills a mark in the bathroom of his hotel, making it look like an accident. And then we don’t see Wilson for a good while (and luckily he’s more involved halfway through the movie until the very end).
Luckily, R. Marcos Taylor carries the movie with charm and some fighting skills as well. Right away I recognized him as the one thug from the bike shop who Wilson beats up in The Martial Arts Kid, and thought, “This guy has some talent, hopefully I’ll see him again.” This time, he’s front and center as Tyrell, a guy who is having the worst day of his life. His girlfriend wants to see him and has been wondering where he’s been all night (luckily, he didn’t do anything with Cecelia, which would have made the character awful). His boss keeps calling and texting him, wondering why he isn’t picking up his route’s clothes fast enough. He has a burgeoning music producing career which he keeps going to the studio to make sure it’s up to speed. And on top of that, people are trying to beat him up and kill him
One of those characters is Wilson’s Shota, a killer with a conscience. When he starts to piece the puzzle together that Tyrell isn’t a bad guy and actually didn’t sleep with Cecilia and basically was a ‘wrong place, wrong time’ type of situation, he decides to give the bounty back for the hit. Which then puts his head on the line. It all culminates at a huge fight at the Tampa Bay Rowdies stadium, where it’s Tyrell and Shota versus the mob’s cronies. And we never get to meet Mr. McGetty, which actually was a fun device throughout the movie.
A character who I wished was in the film more was Rocco, played by Wade Williams. This was the first time seeing him in a film, and he seemed to come out of a picture from the 40’s, with some fun comic timing as Cecilia’s jealous boyfriend who wants to uphold her honor, to varying degrees of success. Also, be careful if you get his coffee order wrong. There’s also this strange recurring character in the background called The Master (Tayari Casel), who at first is seen by Shota. But then Tyrell has a spiritual awakening with him, re-learning his martial arts skills from a younger age and presto, he’s got those skills again. It gave the film this bizarre edge which made me want to see where it was going next.
And sometimes that’s all you need in a film. I don’t believe in the ‘guilty pleasure’ or ‘so bad, it’s good’ mantras. I watch a film and if I enjoy it, then that’s all that matters. Paying Mr. McGetty is one of those films where I watched it, didn’t look at my watch once and had a fun time with it. Characters I enjoyed seeing interact, some fun action and that low budget charm missing from a lot of films. It’s definitely a film to check out on a Saturday afternoon.