“88” is a redundant smattering of nonsensical chaos with little cinematic reward.
The movie’s runtime was was an excruciating (guess how long) 88 minutes of repetitive bull [expletive deleted]. Essentially, “88” is the story of Gwen who after witnessing the brutal murder of the love of her life, which she believes was by the order of her crime boss pimp, goes into a ‘Fugue State’ and assumes the shoot first and never take names persona, Flamingo. While the film was mildly fascinating with it’s overtly bizarre characters and scene choices, the muddled story and jarringly redundant editing made for a “hop out your seat” performance… as in I couldn’t wait to hop out of my seat and escape this movie.
Why are people vomiting milk? Why does Flamingo’s mercenary persona mimic Natasha Henstrige in “Species?” What the [Expletive Deleted] is going on?! These are all questions that come to mind when watching the independent action thriller “88.”
The director April Mullen must love milk and gumballs because this hodgepodge of lactose, confection and violent baboonery made for the most bizarre 88 minutes of film I have seen thus far in 2015. I have to give the writer, Tim Doiron, some credit as he did present a few unexpected twists and turns although, given the choppy and chaotic nature of the film, everything was a bit unexpected. I can’t reiterate enough that the editing format really hurt this film, taking a few intro clips and continuously cycling and splicing them with random images that don’t even supplement the story arc. I was just waiting for the film to normalize and move forward without the over-use of these redundant cut scenes, yet they never ceased.
Katharine Isabelle, who portrays Gwen/Flamingo, is a seemingly seasoned actress with over 100 credits to her name ranging back to 1989. The problem, the script leaves little character development for her acting chops to be able to shine through. If judged by only this property, Isabelle will likely be discounted. Her character comes across as a mix of Jim Carrey in “Me, Myself and Irene” and Guy Pearce in “Memento,” but without a true sense of comedy or drama. Again, I wouldn’t blame Isabelle as the little developmental scenes she did have she excelled in… as best she could.
You’re Coffee is shit!
“Great Scott!” Christopher Lloyd has made better choices picking roles in the past. In “88” the former Doc has turned drug-addled pimp and crime boss who is about as tough as a Pomeranian. NONE of his scenes make you believe that he is any sort of tough-guy or threat. His lines are outright absurd and delivered as though he just started acting last week. If you want to see Lloyd give a muddled train-wreck of a performance, then by all means please watch this… but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Tim Doiron plays TY, the Clyde to Flamingo’s Bonnie, and is perhaps the film’s only saving grace. Too bad he was also the writer who penned the film’s arrhythmic dialogue. Apparently he had a vision as he was able to take HIS mediocre dialogue and actually make you laugh, but also be pretty bad-ass at the same time. Although Doiron is relatively new to acting, when compared to Lloyd and Isabelle, his character was the most robust and my favorite of the film. Without him, I doubt I would have survived the experience. I would say he should probably stick to acting…
I am disappointed, as the story and more memorable scenes were wasted with a hectic editing format. One scene in particular showcases the ‘snapped’ Flamingo waltzing into the equivalent of a Walgreens, hiking up her skirt, leaning against a shelf and taking a piss on the floor… yes I said piss on the floor. When the clerk tells her she probably isn’t allowed to do that, she snatched a bag of chips from the shelf, opens it and dumps out the contents into her fresh puddle of urine. Scenes like that have the right provocative and out-right off-beat feel, but the lack of direction and character development made it yet another random snippet in what seems more like an avant-garde music video than a movie.
I can’t say that the movie wasn’t entertaining at times, but the brief moments of salvation where overshadowed by the prolonged lulls of confusion and overly artificial attempts at keeping a fast pace through cheesy editing.
[Disclaimer] Just FYI, this review has been terribly difficult. I am racking my brain to put together some sort of sensible review to highlight any positives the film had, but there are so few points of redemption that my analysis is just as, if not more, chaotic than the movie.
I could see myself only revisiting the film to show friends the absurdity of the “Piss Scene,” but I would be hard pressed to sit through the full 88 minutes of… whatever this was.
- Entertainment Value
he movie's runtime was was an excruciating (guess how long) 88 minutes of repetitive bull [expletive deleted]. Essentially, "88" is the story of Gwen who after witnessing the brutal murder of the love of her life, which she believes was by the order of her crime boss pimp, goes into a 'Fugue State' and assumes the shoot first and never take names persona, Flamingo. While the film was mildly fascinating with it's overtly bizarre characters, the muddled story and jarringly redundant editing made for a "hop out your seat" performance... as in I couldn't wait to hop out of my seat and escape this movie.
If you love watching spectacularly bad b-movies, then I would say "88" is right up your alley. On the other hand, if you want to see a good action movie with some semblance of a plot, then this is likely not the movie for you.