Sunday 25 August 2013

Patrol Men (UK 2010: Dir David Campion and Ben Simpson)

Product DetailsThe democratisation of film making, triggered in recent years by the availability of cheap accessible cameras and editing tools, has arguably been the most important change to the making and distribution of movies since the initial proliferation of film producers in the silent era. That so few of today's new wave of auteurs choose to deploy the tools of their trade to create anything particularly new or innovative is disappointing. Luckily David Campion and Ben Simpson are in the minority.

Patrol Men is set on a fictional British island of Peyton, which is governed by ruthless martial law, presided over by the fruitcake Mayor Yorke, and where a sundown curfew is rigidly enforced by a gang of gas mask wearing heavies - the Patrol Men of the title. The curfew is for the islanders' sake, because there is a killer stalking at night. Plucky Alex, one of the islanders who is more questioning than most, decides to investigate the set up a little more closely after her boyfriend Jess becomes the killer's latest victim. Together with potty mouth Orlando they infiltrate the nerve centre of the island to uncover the truth.

Patrol Men isn't by any means a great film. The acting quality is variable, although Alex and Orlando (for some reason listed as Okie in the credits) as the two leads give engaging and honest performances. Alex in particular, played by Chloe van Harding, who is in almost every scene, is an unlikely but likeable heroine, being only about sixteen, very short and a bit tubby. Jonathan (Axed, The Devil's Business) Hansler puts his all into it as the very unhinged Mayor - but the rest of the cast fare less well talent wise. It's the enthusiasm of the young directors that fires this project with something that lifts it from the vast mass of barely average shot on DV releases out there. Apart from the few violent scenes, this could almost pass as one of those teatime adventure serials made on TV in the 1970s. It's quite bleak but not relentlessly so, and the story moves at a good pace. Let's hope we see more from Campion and Simpson.

No comments:

Post a Comment