Friday, March 30, 2012

my thoughts on.... 'Chop' (2011)

With a simple title like 'Chop', this movie can easily sneak under the average film goers radar. It's unassuming and not your average big budget blockbuster. It's the dictonary definition of an indie film. Now, this little comedy nasty is directed by the writer of 'Deadgirl', Trent Haaga. Why he didn't write this? I'm not sure. You may have heard of 'Deadgirl' (if you read my review), but this one never got the same recognition, as it's not as controversial. Where as 'Deadgirl' was a very dark and twisted tale of the "undead" and other ugly things, this is more of a light hearted look at revenge. I actually had really high hopes after watching the trailer and I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of the movie. Towards then end though, it kind of started to fall apart just a bit. Not too mention that the ending was either the most satisfying ending ever written or the least satisfying ending ever written. I still am not sure exactly how I feel about the movie as a whole, since the ending was so.... um, odd. If you want to see it, before you finish this review, it's available on Netflix OnDemand as of this past week. Also, you may recognize the lead actor and are asking yourself, "Who the hell is that guy and where do I know him from?" His name is Will Keenan. He's the star of Troma's classic Shakespeare adaptaion, 'Tromeo and Juliet'. He really stands out in this movie and I kind of hope it finally gives him a bit more stardom than he's had before. Honestly, everyone in this movie seems to really be enjoying the whole experience. I think it has a lot to do with the somewhat original storyline. Let's get to that part, before going any further.

The plot is actualy quite simple. (taken from "Lance Reed is forced by a psychotic stranger to confront his duplicitous past. Seeking retribution for a crime, the man forces Lance to reveal his inner most secrets by systematically removing his limbs." or there's this version: (taken from "After accepting a ride when his car breaks down, Lance finds himself tortured by a man from his past he can't remember who holds a grudge for events Lance has forgotten. Now Lance must choose between saving the life of his brother or his wife." Both of these plot breakdowns are accurate. The simplest way of looking at this is, Lance has to remember what the heck he did to piss off his captor, before he has all his limbs chopped off.... literally. He's tortured for almost the entire movie, but not in the 'Hostel' way. It's much more psychological and comical. It gets to a point where you're not entirely sure what's going on anymore than Lance does. Not too mention that the cops aren't much of a help either. It's kind of brilliant.

You now have all of the pieces of the puzzle, but what you don't have is the ending. I'm not entirely sure that the writer did either. Like I said earlier, I can't determine how I feel about it. I don't want any spoilers here, just in case you decide to see it. And I don't know that I have a better ending in mind. It just felt too much like a student film. Perhaps that's my issue with it. The fact that it seemed like the typical student film finale. One that is supposed to be ironic or cool, but as the film maker gets more seasoned, they realize that they can do so much more to create a good ending. It doesn't make it bad, it just makes it feel a bit lazy. As the same time, it's so rare to see someone take a leap of faith and go for the gut punch ending. I can honestly say that I did NOT see the ending playing out the way it did. I really had no idea how it could end well. You're also given lots of possible solutions along the way, but they never really reveal much. It's refreshing.

Just like this movie, my review is disjointed and broken. It feels a slight bit unfinished, but I don't think it would have been so charming if it was done any other way. It's just a fun little movie. Plain and simple. Everybody in it seems to be having fun, therefore the viewer has fun and that makes you want to watch it again. That, to me, is the sign of a good film maker. I just hope that their next project is a bit more well polished. I'd love to see what they can do at full stregth. Even with all of the little negative bits, I still gave this movie 4 out of 5 stars. Mostly, for just being a good time and a bit of a 'no-brainer'. Just be open minded for the ending. If you don't over think it too much, you just might be plesantly surprised.

If you like this, check out: 'Deadgirl', 'Tromeo and Juliet' and 'Easter Bunny, Kill! Kill!'

1 comment:

  1. The money was pretty damn funny. The ending was fitting...