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Monday, December 4, 2017

Overdrive

I missed the press preview for this so I went out to see it the midday screening on opening day and then wrote this straight after. So, if you think my reviews are too - haha - thoughtful this should be for you!

Also, this really wasn't very good. I need to review something good to balance the scales, methinks. Stay tuned...

This review is already on Channel 24

What it's about

Andrew and Garrett Foster are half brothers and, as car thieves at the top of their game, are literal partners in crime. When the two accidentally steal from one of France's greatest crime lords, they and Andrew's girlfriend, Steph, are forced to carry out a car-robbery for the man they stole from, and in the process get caught up in a crime war that may end up making them very rich or very,very dead.

What we thought

Overdrive is, by any metric, a very bad movie. The acting is universally poor, the script risible, the plot overstuffed and the characterization thread-bare. The cinematography is rather nice, what with all the beautiful people stealing beautiful cars in beautiful locations being exactly the sort of things to make any director of photography's life a breeze, but even the action scenes aren't done all that well: relying far too heavily on the sort of super-fast editing that makes most action movies these days rather irritating to watch. Here's a game: during any action set piece, click your fingers (but, you know, quietly: you are in a cinema) every time there's a cut. I guarantee you won't be able to keep up.

It's clearly and quite incontrovertibly a bad movie but that's almost to be expected. The real question is if Overdrive is any fun? The answer, fittingly enough, is that your mileage will vary depending on what you want from it.

If, for example, you've found the later Fast and Furious movies too ridiculous and too overblown and want something that's at least a bit closer to what the series originally started as, then Overdrive may well scratch that itch. You're nuts, of course, as that series only got good – well, not good exactly but super, duper fun – when the Rock joined the fray a few instalments back but if you prefer less charismatic stars committing rather straightforward car-heists then you may just have come to the right place.

Gear-heads, in general, will undoubtedly get a lot out of this as the entire film basically plays as something of a mix between car-porn and a very expensive car commercial. Seriously. Remember those great James Bond credit sequences where the title tune plays over silhouettes of beautiful and presumably naked women? Well, Overdrive kind of does the same but with lovingly-photographed cars – and car parts! - taking the place of the lovely ladies. I don't get it but, hey, each to their own.

Not that it's exactly lacking in lovely ladies either, mind you. Ana de Armas and Gaia Weiss provide plenty of eye candy for those of us less interested in looking at Scott Eastwood in any way other than trying to get past just how much he looks exactly like his father at that age. Sure, Eastwood is totally awful in this film and Ana de Armas has been worlds better elsewhere but in a movie this shallow and empty, I suppose there's nothing wrong with having them as little more than eye-candy.

Undiscerning fans of generic action films, this film is also very much for you. I kind of grew tired of the genre right around the time I turned twenty but if you still measure a film by the size of its explosions – not that there's anything wrong with that - then you are in luck as I counted at least a couple of comically huge explosions. Seriously, you would think that some of these cars are made, literally, out of TNT.

Otherwise, though, I can't really see much point wasting time and money seeing Overdrive in the cinema. It looks OK enough for the big screen but at this time of year when Winter Blockbusters and Oscar contenders are vying for your attention, I can't really imagine wanting to watch this instead.



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