Monday, March 12, 2012

R.S.V.P. (2002)

Nick is hosting a big farewell gathering for his pal Jimmy, complete with a cast of other 20-something y/o party goers who are all DYING to have a good time. An updated hipper version of Albert Hitchcock's Rope, Director Mark Anthony Galluzo's 2002 film R.S.V.P. is a slick black comedy/thriller that turns out to be pretty enjoyable.

Now if your familiar with the aforementioned Hitchcock film or Agatha Christie's 'Ten Little Indians' then you might not find much originality in the plot. Where R.S.V.P. sets itself apart is it's Kevin Smith-like dialogue and characters, though it's not nearly as smart. While on the subject of that, Jason Mewes of Jay & Silent Bob fame plays Terry, a burnt out pothead in the film. Type casting at it's finest. The other main players in the story are, Nick (played by Rich Otto) who has a performance oddly familiar of Christian Bale in American Psycho. Along with his Professor, Dr. Hal Evans (Glenn Quinn) and the heroine of the tale, Jordan (Brandi Andres), these characters are the ones that keep the plot moving. Though it's the dialogue shared between Nick & Dr. Evans that turn out to be the highlights of the film. The constant fast paced, dark humor between the two works perfectly.

What might turn some people off is the fact that there is no guessing when it comes to who is doing all of the killing. The audience is on the gag, as soon as the picture starts rolling. For those wanting or expecting a mix of blood, sex & gore in your movie, you won't find any of that here either. They do manage a few quarky, fun ways of disposing some of the guests. Though every final death blow that happens is off screen, another factor that might drive one's interest away. However thanks to some flashy camera tricks from Galluzo, most of what happens during the film works in it's favor. The director knows when to slow or speed things up to either add or relieve the tension. There is nothing groundbreaking here, but this being the directorial debut from Galluzo, I liked what he brought to the table.

Now I can't say that it was all positive. The ending being the major gripe here. Without spoiling things, it is a rather silly climax. Not enough to ruin the film experience, but enough to perhaps make you wonder why end it on such a stupid note.

All in all, R.S.V.P. is a fun movie. Fun being the key word here. The story has been done before, and it's been done way better, but then again I highly doubt this film was ever trying to compete with it's original source. So if you get a chance to see it, enjoy it for what it is.

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