Screenplay by: Stephen M. Coates
Directed by: Kelly Dolen
This film really needs to work on its marketing.
The blurb used by cinemas and movie listing websites reveals one of the two major twists in the film, which really spoiled the experience a bit, because there isn’t that much of substance to the film. I’m not the only one who thinks the film would benefit from better marketing – in a 30-minute Q&A with the director after the session, pretty much all he did was complain about distribution and all the people he worked with other than Jamie Bamber, Lachy Hulme and the writer. He didn’t leave me wanting to tell all my friends to go see it, hearing what he thought of the end result.
He and the person hosting the event seemed to see way more of substance in the film than I did. We’re told by characters in the film that it is some sort of intriguing, deep social commentary, when in reality it is about as shallow, unrealistic and hamfisted as a film can possibly be.
Despite apparently going through years of exhaustive post-production, a few big gaffs slip through. Victoria’s Parliament building is used as the exterior of a court, but I am 99% sure someone in the film refers to the building as Parliament. In one shot, a car has a Victorian licence plate, which suddenly turns into a generic fake movie plate in the next shot.
And the writing? As a typical example of what you get in the movie, Jamie Bamber confesses to being John Doe, only to then say in an interview that it’s up to a jury to decide if he is John Doe, to then take credit for being John Doe, and then openly stating the fact, with nothing changing during the course of the interview to make him change his tune.
The plot is completely original. I have never seen a film where a character is the victim of a crime, feels they didn’t get justice and then goes around killing criminals. There also definitely isn’t another film in the cinemas right now with that basic plot. But he only kills bad guys, that’s pretty new. No, I’ve never heard of the Punisher or Dexter.
The film only had two redeeming features: one was Bamber’s awesome Australian accent; the other was that it was filmed in my city, and it was fun identifying all the locations used in the filming.