SXSW Review : The Do-Deca-Pentathalon

Written and directed by Mark and Jay Duplass (“Cyrus”), “The Do-Deca-Pentathalon” stars Mark Kelly and Steve Zizzis as estranged brothers who compete in a 25-event ultimate challenge to determine who is the better brother.

The film was originally produced in 2008 but was shelved after the brothers got their first big feature, “Cyrus.” The brothers found time to finish the film and bring it to South by Southwest for its world premiere. Their next feature film, “Jeff Who Lives At Home,” is already completed and set for release this month.

If you’ve been reading my SXSW coverage you know that Mark Duplass (FX’s “The League”) also stars in “Safety Not Guaranteed” so yeah – the Duplass brothers are definitely staying busy.

The events for this brotherly battle include standard olympic-style contests like air hockey, putt-putt, art wrestling, Indian leg wrestling and of course, skee-ball. You can definitely see where the Duplass brothers were going with “Cyrus” as the brothers are very passive aggressive in their attempts to one-up each other, much like John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill.

During the Q&A after the screening, the brothers revealed that the basis of the film is rooted in actual events – a pair of brothers they grew up with who held a Do-Deca-Pentathalon to determine who was better, and the outcome was shrouded in controversy. The plan is to include the real brothers competing in all 25 events as an extra on the DVD release.

Overall, another very heartful, humorous film from the Duplass brothers. If you’re a fan of their previous work then this one is a no brainer. I mean, who hasn’t wanted to decimate and embarrass a loved one in air hockey?