OCTOBER 11, 2007
Well I guess even New Zealand can make a stinker.
It’s not that The Ferryman is a wholly bad film, but it’s just lacking energy every step of the way, and overlong by about 20 minutes (maybe John Rhys-Davies, aka Gimli, rubbed off a bit too much on the filmmakers). To be fair, the plot is fine, and they do a good job balancing the primary characters, making it a bit difficult to pick who our survivors will be right from the start. Also, the American of the group begins channeling uber awesome Nathan Fillion when it’s his turn to be the possessed one. So there’s something.
But the length and pedestrian manner of the film ultimately sinks it. Granted, they are confined to a yacht and thus the film is a bit confined in how big it can be, but there’s no need to have so much repetition. How many times do we need to see someone get stabbed with the magic dagger that makes them possessed by the murderous spirit? Apparently, like, five or six. There’s also some goofy padding, such as a musical number that’s as out of place as the one in Flight of the Phoenix remake (hey, you’re low on water, maybe NOT sing along to “Hey Ya”?).
The DVD was also poorly mastered (I assume it was the DVD anyway) – the film looks overly washed out, with all the blacks appearing as gray. That’s a big pet peeve of mine, especially when the film is impressively shot (making the boat seem bigger than it is) and set almost entirely at night. And the back of the box lists “SUBTITLES in SPANISH” (their cap usage, not mine) above a behind the scenes piece on the list of extra features.
However, the film does offer something for the ladies...
It’s not the worst movie I have seen this week, but it was definitely the most lackluster. And even though I’ve never heard of him, I know director Chris Graham can do better.
What say you?