Saturday, 11 July 2009

Fleadh09: MAN MADE MEN

Playing in the Wild Cards strand of the Fleadh, my expectations were lowered before I went into this one. The thought of a futuristic science-fiction conspiracy thriller set in Dublin made for all but zero money just has "disaster" written all over it.

I'll make it clear right from the start, there is more than enough evidence of the lack of money, whether it be cheap special effects, some ropey acting, some laughable characters (gun-toting rabbis?), moments of questionable sound and picture quality (not helped by the projection in the mobile cinema mind you)...

But I really enjoyed this. Despite all its flaws, the central concept is a fascinating one - a scientist develops a new lifeform and announces that he can prove God doesn't exist - and its enveloped in a largely intelligent story with far more ambition than any film of this level of budget deserves to have.

There are some pacing issues - a reliance on voiceover makes for some interesting inserts from famous dead people (you have to see it to understand) but too much time is spent explaining rather than showing - but once the film enters its endgame it's remarkably entertaining. The final scenes are tense and exciting but there is no stronger a moment in the film than the suspenseful moment when one of the new lifeforms realises what is happening. Budget be damned, it's one of my favourite scenes from any film I've seen this year.

Do not expect Oscar winning acting or mindblowing special effects but for an intelligent thriller with lofty ambitions you could do a lot worse.

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