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Friday, 6 September 2013

Adventure! (2013)

Director: Bonnie Sowle
Stars: Brandon Slezak and Jose Hurtado
This film was a submission to one of the IFP Phoenix film challenges in 2013. Here's an index to my reviews of 2013 submissions.
The best thing about Adventure! is the way it alternates action with inaction, especially given that its action is fast paced, rapidly edited and well timed, while its inaction is so slow as to be pretty close to stopped entirely. This whole start/stop concept could have gone horribly wrong, but it's done stylishly enough to make it a playful romp with a similarly playful conceit. Two slackers slouch around playing video games until one tells the other that they should go on an adventure. 'Dude, what are you?' his friend replies. 'Ten?' But he goes anyway. It's a pretty short adventure as adventures go, because the first third of the film is a montage scene of them getting ready, most of which has nothing whatsoever to do with getting ready; such is the quirky humour in play here. When they set off, they don't exactly have a lot of stops until they end up eleven hours later back in the situation that opens the film. 'This isn't what I meant by having an adventure!' one screams. But does it work for us?

Well, at this point in a long batch of IFP Beat the Clock submissions, all completed within 48 hours, it was a breath of fresh air. While the story is lacking, the sense of fun pervades the film like air, starting with the shock of the opening scene and the reaction of the title card. Then nothing, then something, then nothing and on it goes. Brandon Slezak and Jose Hurtado obviously enjoyed the heck out of the shoot and Korbe Canida makes a captivating cult temptress. Yeah, that should spark some attention. I should add that it's not as good as I'm probably making it sound: it's inconsistently lit at points, it took me a while to figure out the opening shriek and I'm not convinced any of it makes the remotest sense, but I don't think the folk at Toast Productions care. They had a blast making it and their enthusiasm rubs off on us. It recounts the sort of adventure that the heroes will tell their kids one day, but their kids won't believe a word of it. Even if it's the gospel truth. PS: Fluffly the Cat almost steals the show.

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