Well, I had said that i was looking forward to some twisted unthinkable scenarios in this film; In this respect I was not let down. However, the film started with a bang and ended with a quiet whimper.
It's a great premise: a guy, Brain, whose job it is to make carefully planned assassinations look identical to simple accidents. He, and his ragtag, motley crew have hair-raising brainstorm sessions about how to knock off the next unlucky client. But, to try to build a character study after you've spent half the film focused exclusively on the bang-bang-shoot-'em-up side of the premise is a long shot at best....Choose one or the other; or, better yet, if you have to do both, introduce both within the first half of the film.
I'm not going to thrash this film because the music was laughable in parts. I'm not even going to bring up the fact that approximately 43 loose ends needed tied up, explained or just plain done away with. I won't call it to task for the isolated, random metaphysical moment where the sun is blocked out, revealing all truth to the protagonist.
Actually, it was a reasonably enjoyable film, just not up to par with what i was expecting from a film festival entrant. I could have dealt with the fact that it is two separate films ungracefully grafted together with pliers and chicken wire. But there was just so little continuity between the characters personalities in the first and second parts. I understand that we needed to see Brain (the film's protagonist) as a paranoid person and therefore good at what he does, namely killing people. It just seems that there's a better way to do it than just doing an "oh, by the way" encore segment.
Show us; don't tell us.
Taken alone, the first half could have easily stood on its own as a brutal and clever film...with a few additional minutes of course. But suddenly, the film turned into "The Lives of Others," just not as rich in it's assertion. Brain suddenly becomes self-aware like Skynet and seeks to destroy what he envisions as the enemy, a nice-boy lawyer with a smoking hot wife.
The real treat of the evening, however was watching several of the films frames bubble and melt on the screen. I'm not sure what happened but, the collective gasp throughout the theater was poignant. My condolences to the owners of said filmstrip. But the real question remains....was it an accident!?
This film: C
We'll be back for round three tomorrow.
Buckle your seat belts and pin your eyelids open, we've got a lot more frames to view.