Friday, September 2, 2016

Neil Stryker and the Tyrant of Time (2016) Portland Film Festival 2016

Tongue in cheek send up of science fiction adventures has the world's greatest secret agent chasing a super villain who has stolen Stryker's young son after escaping from the psyche ward of  the maximum security lock down.

If it wasn't for the violence, foul language and nudity this would almost be a kids film, instead its a very adult send up of various science fiction films and science fiction tropes. Funnier the more references you know the film has some clever bits and dead on homage. This is the sort thing that science fiction fans who like spoofs are going to eat up- especially if you grew up watching cheezy schlock films of the sort .that were released in the 1980's and 90's and are in a RIfftrax sort of mood.

As on target some of the film is it has two real problems that kept me from truly giving myself over to it.

First the film seems to be largely dubbed after the fact. Its an amusing trope that makes it seem like a badly dubbed Italian film, but at the same time it grows wearisome almost instantly because there is no reason for it. I don't mind watching a foreign film dubbed into English because other wise I wouldn't under stand it. Here there is no reason for it and it just grates and pretty much derails the movie.

The other problem is that the pacing is way too slack. The sequences play out much too slowly with the result that some sequences fall flat and we are given too much time to admire the the cheapo production. Yes the film has some laughs but the action sequences which should pop look as though the characters are walking through them. It almost kills the film, and it would have been so much better if the film had moved things along with a sense of urgency.

Flaws and all I do think the film is worth a look for forgiving science fiction fans looking for something not too serious (more so if you can see this with a bunch of like minded friends and lots of drinks).  All others can probably skip it.

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