Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Film Review: Black Rock (2012)

Director: Katie Aselton
Screenplay: Mark Duplass
Stars: Katie Aselton, Lake Bell and Kate Bosworth

For a small thriller with two comedic actresses in the lead roles (and Kate Bosworth, too), Black Rock starts well and above its station but loses all credibility it may have gathered in the final act.

The plot is simple; three friends go camping on an island only to run into trouble when three ex-soldiers arrive on the scene and inevitably things take a turn for the worse. To describe this film as a female Deliverance is an insult to John Boorman’s 1972 classic but it’s the easiest comparison to make without going into deeper plot details of a film which doesn’t deserve much analysis.

The script was written by Mark Duplass and directed by his wife, and star, Katie Aselton. To be fair, both show a talent beyond their comedic background and the direction is perfectly serviceable throughout even if it has a Video On Demand feel about it, rather than deserving of a cinematic release. Moreover, Aselton, Lake Bell, and Kate Bosworth are convincing in their roles as scared, terrified women, but they are at the mercy of Duplass ridiculous final act and can do nothing to save the film once the stupidity begins.

As mentioned, the women are up against three ex-solders. These are men who have been trained to kill and have been to fight in Iraq, so the conclusion to the final showdown between two of the women and one of the men, armed with a hunting knife, is ludicrous beyond all belief.

Stop thinking for yourself verdict: At only 80 minutes including credits, Black Rock doesn’t drag or outstay its welcome, but it’s only when the film is over that you’ll wish you never invested that time to begin with.

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