By Peter Stroczkowski
It’s no secret that Zach Galifianakis is hilarious, bizarre, and oddly charming. What many of us may not know, however, is that the man did not simply appear out of fat air to play the role of ‘the bearded guy’ in The Hangover, and its miserably underwhelming sequel The Hangover II. As well as a film and television actor, Galifianakis is also a comedian and writer- and lo and behold, he is the star of this hilarious, bizarre, and oddly charming independent film!
Visioneers (directed by Jared Drake) is set in a dismal, not-too-distant future wherein George Washington Winsterhammerman (Galifianankis), is a low-level employee of the Jeffers Corporation, a massive conglomerate that runs the United States with its iron fist and ethos of mindless productivity. A common one-fingered gesture now serves as the polite social greeting, coupled with the statement “Jeffers morning to you.” Winsterhammerman leads a productive and comfortable but mundane life until people around him (including fellow employees) begin exploding (yes, literally). Horrified at what is going on and whether he may be at risk, he attempts to get comfort from his loveless marriage and absentee son. Winsterhammerman soon learns from his doctor that the victims of exploding had similar symptoms to him (having dreams, binge-eating, and sexual incapability). When Winsterhammerman’s dreams intensify and become more frequent, he believes his explosion is inevitable. He quickly begins to doubt the path of his marriage, job, diet, and life in general, and attempts to seek true happiness.
The film is equal parts love story, drama, and absurdist comedy, and Galifianakis plays his role to perfection as the pitiable, relatable, and ultimately lovable Winsterhammerman. The film is definitely more subtle and complex than what Galifianankis has become popularized for (no hookers, recreational drug use or wolf pack references here folks), so bros and brodettes looking for more accessible humor should await the release of the third Hangover flick. For those who appreciate eccentricity, charming and unpretentious independent films, or overweight comedians with magnificent beards should give the film a try. At best (or maybe worst), it could leave you questioning the meaning of true happiness.