14 January 2014: Sensored [Yes, Blogger autocorrect, do you think I don't KNOW? Go away now, wiggly red line]
First 'official' of the 500, and it's meh.
Robert Picardo is a suburban solid citizen, or maybe he's a torture-killer, or maybe just a torturer, or maybe an undercover CIA operative, or maybe a children's book author, or maybe a schizophrenic who made it all up, or maybe all of them because why the heck not?
Yes; one of THOSE films: "main character is crazy, so go to hell narrative continuity or resolution!" and consequently an unsatisfying experience.
I like me some Robert Picardo, lord knows; not quite enough to suffer Voyager on an even semi-regular basis, except for the Brad Dourif episodes, and Threshold (the 'Paris goes faster than light, devolves into a reptile, kidnaps Janeway, reptiles her and they have freaky newt babies' one, which is so terrible that it goes through terrible, passes awful, pauses briefly in hilariously bad, then slingshots right back to terrible again; I refer interested parties to the SF Debris review, and ), but I do like him, and he continues the tradition of being the best thing in mediocre material. Here he gets to be cold, brutal, savage, tentative in his approaches to the socially over-enthusiastic redhead over the street, dry, emotional. Everything but a song-and-dance routine.
I can't criticise any of the performances, in fact; Picardo,or asthmatic CIA bloke, or overly-forward neighbour woman; even generic main torturee is less unbearable than is usual (good grief, I'd have him as best man at my wedding compared to the please-die-soon charisma-vacuums cluttering up the Hostel films)...I just wish I cared, and that the writer or director did, at least enough not to undermine them for the sake of one more bloody Russo swerve.
Worth another watch? Unless I really missed something; no
One good thing? Picardo aside...Managing to have a not-annoying child actress
One bad thing? That underwhelming ending. Like Beef, I know the difference between drug-real and real-real, and thanks for telling me that I've just wasted 70 minutes becoming invested in characters you can't even be bothered to resolve properly. I'm not that guy, you know; I can stand a bit of ambiguity, and I don't need Simon Oakland to turn up and tell me that the man we've just seen try to kill someone while dressed as a woman likes to dress as a woman and kill people, but come ON. Did you have an ending for them, and could we not have that instead? Hmph.
This film made me grouchy, so I had to move on to a mid-70s Italian Bava knockoff; so I could guarantee many characters would be naked at some point, most would be dead by the end, and it would AT NO POINT be a dream.
TO BE CONTINUED...