Let me start off by saying this: The Foot Fist Way is a lot funnier than its marketing campaign made it out to be.

The primary source of the comedy in the movie comes from the fact that no one is acting like they’re in a comedy. Everyone plays it completely straight and the performances actually have more in common with a drama than anything else. In fact it would only take a small tweak to everyone’s take on their characters to turn this into that potential drama. That means no one is over-playing how ridiculous their characters are but instead let the humor naturally flow from the ridiculous situations they find themselves in.

Danny McBride stars as the head of a Tae Kwon Do studio who fancies himself as some sort of noble master. His ego is completely outsized to what he actually does. All the insane goings on inside the studio, whether its his interactions with his students or something happening in his personal life, are completely deflated by the occasional shots of the exterior, which positions the studio in the middle of a bland, generic strip-mall.

The movie follows McBride’s character through some tumultuous times in his life. He’s having problems with his way-too-hot-for-him wife and finds himself pursuing a chance to meet his professional idol, a meeting that winds up not turning out how he expected it to on a number of levels. It’s never out and out funny in an obvious way, but the humor comes unexpectedly and, in most case, awkwardly as you watch a collection of relative idiots bumble their way through their lives trying to be bigger than they really are.