Saturday, December 10, 2011

Catch .44 (C)

Many people say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. From the mixed up files of Mr. Q.J. Tarantino comes the latest Reservoir Dogs inspired crime film, Catch .44. Although the film is not directed, produced, or written by Mr. Tarantino, his influence on the film is evident in the film's script, characters, and direction. Characters indulge themselves on seemingly pointless tangents while talking, the film follows a non-traditional timeline akin to the previously mentioned Reservoir Dogs, every other word coming out of the character's mouths is profane. The only example of the film not following in the suit of Mr. Tarantino would be the film's soundtrack, favoring more modern pop songs to the 60's and 70's style jams the director is so fond of. Going back to my opening sentence; Many people say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Director Aaron Harvey (who also wrote the film's script) clearly admires Mr. Tarantino's work, but does this appreciation translate into an effective and enjoyable film for his audience? The answer to this question is fairly simple in my opinion: Mr. Harvey entertains, but fails to do anything greater.

When Mr. Tarantino uses profanity laced great globs of dialogue containing seemingly unnecessary tangents in his films, the purpose of the ranting isn't just to simply exist, but to give insight into the character who is speaking. For proof of this look no further than the opening scene of Reservoir Dogs in which the audience, through only a table discussion over how to tip a waitress, already gains a feel for who these characters are and what role they'll play over the film. Mr. Harvey follows Tarantino's lead by giving every character the mouth of a sailor, along with their very own monologue, but neglects to have these stories, tangents, and vast uses of profanity serve any real purpose. In most cases they give no insight into the personality of the characters, and seem to exist for the sole purpose of "paying tribute" to Tarantino. While tribute and homage can be properly executed in filmmaking, a movie should be designed so that the inclusion of homage can be possible, not vice versa.

Unfortunately, my example involving the film's use of dialogue can be used a fairly exact metaphor for the film itself. It seems that Catch .44 was originally conceived as solely an homage to Tarantino, and the "heist gone hectic" plot was only a vehicle to act upon various tributes and references. This film is essentially like when a musician attempts to cover a familiar track in the exact same style of the song's original creator: Though the beat may still be a little catchy, something is still definitely amiss, and unfamiliar. Catch .44 is a cover song, but sadly not ambitious enough to be a particularly good one.

Grade: C

Note: One of the key factors of why I sought this film out in the first place was because of the advertisements promising Bruce Willis in a leading, or at least supporting role. Don't be mislead like I was; he is in the film for less than ten minutes. The true main characters are played by Malin Ackerman of Watchmen fame, and Forest Whitaker. Hope this note helps prevent more aggravated moviegoers!

1 comment:

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