Quasi is the story of a hunchback with a courageous heart. While living in late 15th century France, Quasimodo (Steve Lemme) lives a simple existence. By day, Quasi works with his almost-best friend Duchamp (Kevin Heffernan) as a torturer. By night he muses about, but discounts, the possibility of a better life filled with respect, love, and oysters. Through a series of odd happenstances, Quasi wins an audience with Pope Cornelius (Paul Soter). Quasi’s access catches the attention of the ruthless King of France (Jay Chandrasekhar) who wants the Pope dead. As king, he orders Quasi to assassinate the Pope unaware that the ruler of the Catholic Church has secretly made a similar request of the hunchback for regicide. Caught between the secular and sacred world, Quasi must figure out how to navigate the two powerful men and hopefully not get himself or his friends killed in the process.
What works in Quasi is how it goes all-in on satire. Those familiar with the Broken Lizard comedy troupe (Super Troopers, Beerfest) will find the style of humor here akin to their previous work. The jokes are fast, irreverent, often juvenile, and in great abundance. This is not high-brow humor, nor does this crew want it to be. Instead, audiences will find the script crammed with easy shots at French words, cuisine, and history. When the cast aren’t trying to one-up each other with their puns, the remaining jokes are physical. In this regard, Broken Lizard has no problem going to extremes for laughs—mutilation and severe injuries for comedic effect are well-represented. For those seeking 100 minutes of ridiculousness, Quasi is a great way to be entertained without much thought.
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People seeking a mature, sophisticated comedy might not enjoy Quasi as much as others. To assess one’s self-interest in Quasi, simply ask: does the idea of genital harm amuse me? If yes, then jump on in. If not, Quasi will likely feel lazy, crude, and sophomoric. Broken Lizard transparently offers a particular brand of comedy which will appeal to some but will not land for all. Finally, the “violence,” while cartoonish in nature might be unsettling for those with a squeamish disposition.
Quasi is like watching a really strong Improv group perform before your eyes. Broken Lizard is clearly having the time of their lives playing multiple roles and trying to push their own boundaries of silliness. While it may have a niche audience, Quasi squarely delivers on its offering.
Recommended if you Enjoyed: Super Troopers, Beerfest, Monty Python’s Life of Brian
Quasi is now available to stream exclusively through Hulu