Stars: Jaron Druyon, Jessalyn Carpino, James Hesapis, Clay Johnson and Jennifer Sandoval
|This film was an official selection at the Phoenix Film Festival in 2014. Here's an index to my reviews of 2014 films.|
I partly love that idea because I came up with it myself a couple of decades ago and wrote a story called The Sound of Shattering Glass, but it's a very different approach to a man meeting his maker. I didn't tie it to film, for a start, as Thomas does here. His take on the idea neatly creates conflict because films are rarely written by one person, this one being a great example, given that Thomas wrote it in collaboration with Clayton Johnson. While I hope they worked together amicably, that isn't often the case in Hollywood, where writers are hired and fired frequently before a project becomes what the studio execs want it to be. Kingdom of the Sun was a romantic musical comedy that, over six years, gradually transformed into The Emperor's New Groove, a wacky buddy flick, as far from the original as can comfortably be imagined. It's why authors are always very happy for Hollywood to option their books, because they get paid, but often cringe when they actually make the film adaptations, because they invariably aren't what they wrote.
Alex Thomas calls himself 'a musician before anything else' and that's understandable because we hear his work before we ever see it, the accomplished score impossible to ignore as it's suitably overblown for anything but the Hollywood movie the fictional script doctors are keen to turn this into (there's a touch of genius in ironically casting co-writer Clayton Johnson as one of those script doctors, creating his real film by sabotaging someone else's fictional one). After the score, the effects are most notable, partly because there are so many of them, given that we leap around between location and location, aided by the sort of progressions and transitions we usually see in comic books. The final scene is great fun too and it segues cleverly into end credits that are as in your face as the score. Like other dark comic-infused effects-ridden action movies like, say, Sin City, the acting takes a back seat to the concept but it's decent enough, if not particularly notable. It's the concept that shines brightest and I'd love to see a feature version.