SATIRICAL BERNIE SANDERS COMEDY FILM “FREE LUNCH EXPRESS” WITH NARRATION BY LEGENDARY ACTOR MALCOLM MCDOWELL
From the creators who watched “Airplane!” too many times, comes the surreal story of Bernie Sanders. This farcical tale takes us from childhood to political icon battling against the Clintons, having drinks with AOC, and smoking weed with Ben & Jerry.
Reviewed by Simone Cromers: Today’s American political climate begs for us to laugh at it, and writer/director Lenny Britton delivers these timely laughs with Free Lunch Express, at the expense of former Presidential candidate and Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders. The farcical satire is told with a fairytale narrative by the legendary British actor, Malcolm McDowell who delightfully sprinkles the satire with snarky commentary through the political evolution of Sanders depicted in three stages of his life.
In Brooklyn 1953, a young Bernie (Johan Britton) comes home dejected after rich kids at school bully him and steal his lunch, again. Posters of Stalin and Lenin on his pre-teen bedroom walls plant Communist seeds in his young mind and he literally takes a blood oath, with his pocket knife, to have rich people and the Government pay for everything, including his lunches. By the mid-60s, Bernie (now played by Sam Brittan) is depicted as a loner and a loser still living at home until he’s lured to move to Vermont to live at a hippie commune. Bernie explains to his exasperated parents about the liberal government programs and the Utopian qualities of the commune he wants to join. However, once there, Bernie’s freeloading lazy attitude upsets the hippies and they kick him out.
Writer/director Lenny Britton doesn’t spare Hillary Clinton any favors either, opting to show her as an unhinged and uncouth politician who wants Bernie (later played by Charles Hutchins) out of her way, all he has to do is name his price, which happens to be a lake house on Lake Champlain and an Audi. Although Britton focused more on the middle life of Bernie, Free Lunch Express as a whole had a balanced portrayal of Sander’s early life and late-life to give the audience an easy to follow transition of the complicated life of a man who really wanted to support those who have nothing, but he goes about it in a wacky, disingenuous, and disenfranchised way that appeals to a niche voter base.
Perhaps showcasing the life of a politician who has an insignificant legislation footprint was best presented as satire. Supporters of Sanders’ will not find Free Lunch Express very funny, but those who are indifferent to him will have plenty of laughs.
Starring: Sam Brittan (Redlands, And The Past Recedes, Labyrinths), Jonah Britton (“The World According to Billy Potwin”), Charles Hutchins ( “The Connected”), Robert William Campbell (“Hawaii Five-O,” “Vice Principals”), Laura Aleman (Runner Runner, Sol de Mediancoch), Don Frankel (“The Bold and The Beautiful,” “When We Rise,”), Alexander Aguila (“Shameless”), Jessica Jade Andres (Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot, “9-1-1”), Elaine Ballace (“The MissAdventures of Camp Elaine”), William Charlton (The Rum Diary, Money Train), Cynthia Kania (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, “Criminal Minds”), Alycia Cooper (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Sudana Bobatoon (Vice Squad, Secret Agent 00 Soul), Ryan Cole (“Veronica Mars”), Anthony Traina (“Shameless”, Roman J Israel, Esq.), Kevin Sorbo (Let There Be Light, The Santa Suit), Eric Roberts (Runaway Train, The Expendables, Inherent Vice) and Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Star Trek: Generations, Halloween).