Thursday, October 22, 2015

MOVIE REVIEW: BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA (2015)

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Synopsis: 

The movie centers on an underground money-making subculture of participants that wear bulletproof vests and shoot each other. One professional “dueller” is losing the rush of excitement he used to get from the sport and sets out to find the only worthy opponent left in the sport. He meets a female “duellist” along the way to brings him on a quest of self-discovery.

Language: English
Classification: 18
Release Date: 22 Oct 2015
Genre: Action
Running Time: 122 min
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto, Ryan Kwanten, Jon Mack 
Director: Ken Sanzel


From IMDB:

Storyline

Follows the journey of John and Colt, gunfighters and sometimes lovers, on parallel but very different journeys through an underground dueling culture.

Ratings: 4.3/10 from 333 users 
Reviews: 3 user | 14 critic


BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA OPENS IN MALAYSIA ON OCTOBER 22nd FOR EVERYWHERE ELSE FIND OUT HERE


So the movie opens and you hear a sound, then you see what's making it. ©ETA Films


An interesting sport sort of but not so much an interesting story... 

So Blunt Force Trauma, Merriam-Webster.com list's it under their Medical Dictionary and defines it as:

blunt trauma

noun
Medical Definition of BLUNT TRAUMA
: a usually serious injury caused by a blunt object or collision with a blunt surface (as in a vehicle accident or fall from a building) <the patient died of blunt trauma to the head>—called also blunt force trauma
while on Wikipedia, here's what's written:

Blunt trauma, blunt injury, non-penetrating trauma or blunt force trauma refers to physical trauma to a body part, either by impact, injury or physical attack. The latter is usually referred to as blunt force trauma. The term refers to the initial trauma, from which develops more specific types such as contusions, abrasions, lacerations, and/or bone fractures. Blunt trauma is contrasted with penetrating trauma, in which an object such as a bullet enters the body.

So opponents usually look like this. And you play at abandoned places. ©ETA Films

So you can probably guess that this movie is going to be sort of violent, right? After all on the poster for it you see Ryan Kwanten standing there wearing a bullet-proof vest and there's a huge gun on his left thigh. So there's bound to be people shooting at each other, right? Yes there is and that's the sport in this movie. Apparently in this movie world there used to be a huge subculture where people would meet in secret locations, then two people would don bullet-proof vest, stand across from each other and once the signal is given by the referee they would shoot at each other until someone gives up or can't get up from the impact of the bullets hitting them in the bullet-proof vest. Shots anywhere else other than on the vest are considered a foul and I guess considered a penalty or a default win for the person that gets shot. Think of it as one of those gentleman duels you've read about or maybe even those Western showdowns except that there's usually no animosity between the duelers, money is involved between the duelers and there's an audience betting on who wins. And I guess some are there looking for something more. 

Sounds interesting, right? Well the novelty of it fades really fast. 

This is your hero in the film. He's looking to fight the best in the game. ©ETA Films

So the main character is John (Ryan Kwanten) and he's been around the dueling circuit for awhile now but the circuit itself or the game has changed. Due to crackdowns by the authority the game is now no longer what it used to be, the money isn't as good and the duelers aren't as polished as they once were. Gone are the legendary or famous names the sport once had. So John a little disappointed with what's happened and is happening is now looking to fight the only man left still playing the game from back in the glory days of the game. A man named Zorringer (Mickey Rourke). The problem with that is that Zorringer only fights people he deems worthy of him and the only way to do that is to impress a woman who occasionally shows up at these duels a woman named Marla (). 

The first time these two meet was at a dueling match. The next night they slept together but it was because they were lonely. ©ETA Films

Meanwhile at one of these duels he meets up with Colt (Freida Pinto) who herself has just recently joined the game but has completely different reasons for joining it. She's there to track down her brother's killer. They come to an arrangement, she takes him where he needs to go, where the next duel is in exchange for his help for finding the man she's looking for and identifying him to her. 

Honestly speaking this film is pretty predictable, take any sport film where there's one person looking to perfect his sport or to challenge the best in the sport and you'll know what I'm talking about. While on his search for perfection or the ultimate/final fight he comes across a female who he then has some sort of relationship with, there's a fight just before he gets to his goal which results in him having to recuperate and then there's a training montage. After recuperating he decides to continue but just then she decides he's crazy for doing so and that he'll end up dead so she leaves. Then he gets to his final opponent and of course there's some philosophical talk and then they fight and of course he wins. Usually at this point the girls is back to support him but that doesn't happen in this film. 

The next day a couple of cops decide he should duel with a poor burglar. ©ETA Films

Not only was this movie predictable but I was bored watching it. At times it felt tedious, monotonous and even trying. There is little to no drama or tension anywhere that I could feel or felt. Each scene went to the next without any real build up of drama or tension. Two people standing across from each other waiting to shoot each other didn't at all feel dramatic to me.

There is no real tension between the two leads either. There was just something lacking in their performance be it on their own or against each other. There was nothing there for me to latch onto for me to have any part of my attention invested in their characters or their relationship with each other.

So apparently it happens often enough that some doctors know what's going on. ©ETA Films

So that's about the two main leads, what about Mickey Rourke? He's nowhere in the film until the last ten minutes of it. And even then he has a couple of philosophical things to say before that's over. And although he does a pretty good job with what he's given to work with it's still not good enough to change my impression of the film. Also the man just looks weird and why does he not have a proper shirt to wear in his movies these days? Is his body now part of the deal when it comes to casting him? I'm thinking the only reason his name is in the poster is to give the film some credibility.

Then there's the camera work which goes from interesting to distracting really quick. The use of a handheld or documentary style shots is at times much too shaky that it was distracting. Which brings me to the music which again at times gets so loud that it too was a little distracting. Instead of complementing the scene or building the drama or tension what it does instead is overwhelm it. Sometimes it felt like I was supposed to listen to the music instead of invest myself in the current scene.

The first time Mickey Rourke shows up on screen and he looks like this. I found the parrot to be more interesting. ©ETA Films

The only good thing visually with this film is the fact that you get to see how amazing Colombia's natural beauty is. There were some amazing outdoor shots and locations of Colombia in this movie.

Blunt Force Trauma reminds me a little of Momentum both were shot in foreign countries, both had a token big name actor and both were by directors hoping to make some sort of inroads into the Hollywood scene, except that looking into Ken Sanzel he's been doing a fair bit of TV producing, done quite a few directing jobs but looked like they were straight to DVD titles or TV movies whereas for Stephen Campanelli Momentum (2015) is his first major work as a director. In both you could sort of pick-up the possibilities, the potential it has to be a decent if not good film but in both cases they fall short of it becoming just mediocre fare.

The movie isn't very good but at least the backdrop is. ©ETA Films

As far as I'm concern there is little reason to go watch this. Kwanten does the best he can but hardly shines. Pinto is uninspiring and her accent goes in and out too much that it was distracting. There is little if any chemistry between them. The story is predictable. The camera work becomes a little distracting and much  too shaky at times. The music is distracting. Mickey Rourke has little to work with even with the limited screen time and he looks weird to me. The only thing I enjoyed where the outdoor shots of Colombia. That being said this isn't the worst movie I've seen this year.

I'm going to give it a 2 out of 5.

Here's the trailer for it.


video


BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA IS DISTRIBUTED IN MALAYSIA BY TGV PICTURES SO BE SURE TO HEAD ON OVER TO TGV CINEMAS TO GET YOUR TICKETS.




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