Burge plays Marty as fluctuating between extremes of anger and apathy. He's introduced before the credits smashing a Nintendo Power Glove out of frustration, and the follow-up scene finds him unflappable as he blatantly takes advantage of his employer's checking account sign-up bonuses, perfectly calm and utterly unmoved by the teller's shock that this is actually happening. The camera stays on Burge's face throughout the entire, several-minute long latter sequence, and there's never a twinge of discomfort. Pay me my bonus, adhere to the letter, if not the spirit, of your promotion, and let's get on with our day. Marty's constant refrain of 'I don't care' is heard dozens of times, as people try to get him invested in his work or one of their interests or economic concerns, but it's like screaming into a hurricane. The vacuum that is Marty cannot be moved by anything outside of the very limited list of things that Marty wants to do.
The aforementioned bank promotion scene is the first of several impressive sequences featuring Marty in his element. Potrykus has complete faith in Burge, and it's well placed. A later, arresting sequence finds him in a hotel eating room-service spaghetti. The setup is as simple as that, but Burge is so comfortable and naturalistic and a little gross that it's impossible to do anything but gape and question, like the earlier bank teller, if this is really happening. Burge carries the film with ease, conveying Marty's repulsiveness but is also capable of squeezing in a sliver of vulnerability, thus implying that Marty is not yet a complete lost cause.
While Marty is a significant character, Potrykus' Derek is no slouch. Potrykus gets exactly who this character is, starting from the unlooped, braided belt down to the overheated intro to his parents' sad basement, aka The Party Zone. It's heavily implied that Marty is Derek's first friend, a heartbreaking misplacement of unrequited camaraderie. Derek's a well-calibrated antidote to Marty's hatefulness, and their scenes together are a strong comic pairing. In The Party Zone, Marty and Derek occupy themselves with a series of tricks utilizing Bugles and a treadmill, and the result is a delight in a film that would otherwise not qualify for that description.
Buzzard is a daring outing from Potrykus and Burge, and it works as a character piece while also squeezing in some lower-class desperation. Both are able to skillfully work their audience, shifting viewer sympathy from one scene to the next. Potrykus is absolutely a director to watch. Nightcrawler might've been a more intense experience, but can Lou Bloom mesmerize me with his spaghetti consumption? In that arena, Jake Gyllenhaal's got nothing on Joshua Burge. B+