Omaha (The Movie)

1995, NR, 85 min. Directed by Dan Mirvish. Starring Hughston Walkinshaw, Jill Anderson, Frankier Bee, Christopher M. Dukes.

REVIEWED By Alison Macor, Fri., April 12, 1996

This is an expanded reprint of the Austin Chronicle review that ran in March 1995 when the film premiered in Austin at that year's SXSW Film Festival. ///// “Nebraska is a lot more than Aksarben spelled backwards,” intones its governor in one of the many guest spots in Dan Mirvish's first feature Omaha (the movie). Just exactly what the governor means is incidental, as is much of the wacky plot in which Simon (Walkinshaw), a young man intent on spiritual awakening, returns from Nepal to his family home in Omaha only to be jettisoned on an interstate chase because of some valuable holy rocks and some greedy Colombians named Jorge (Bee) and Gustavo (Dukes). His overzealous and oversexed co-pilot is high school friend Gina (Anderson), whose kickboxing skills are particularly helpful in detaining the Colombians as well as FBI agents and roving gangs of Iowa kickboxers. Walkinshaw's and Anderson's performances are inspired, as is the casting of various local celebrities, such as the motorcycle-riding mayor P.J. Morgan. Omaha (the movie) makes the most of quirky touches such as hand-held subtitle cards, aurally enhanced swish pans, and primitive, inserted sequences that edge the film that much closer to surreality. Coupled with Ben Zoma's theme song “Omaha,” these images provide a kind of arty music video as an added bonus at the end of the film. The soundtrack also features music by Nebraska bands such as 311 & the Millions and Outback. In Omaha (the movie), Mirvish has created a strange world of mistaken identities and television programs come-to-life. At times a bit too eccentric for its own good but possibly the only film ever to thank its viewers for staying through to the end of the credits, Omaha (the movie) offers an entertaining hour and a half of crazy antics, silly situations, and good clean Midwestern fun. I'm tempted to call it the low-budget companion piece to Fargo, but doing so would overlook the fact that Mirvish did the Midwest before the Coen Brothers even rode into town.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Alison Macor
'The Last Supper'
'The Last Supper'
'Chainsaws, Slackers, and Spy Kids: 30 Years of Filmmaking in Austin, Texas': an excerpt

Feb. 26, 2010

Grosse Pointe Blank
The film is a wacky joyride through a hit man's high school reunion.

April 11, 1997


Omaha (The Movie), Dan Mirvish, Hughston Walkinshaw, Jill Anderson, Frankier Bee, Christopher M. Dukes

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle