A hit man on the run and a woman with
a secret try to evade teams of assassins headed by the lethal and relentless Mr. Gray.
Written By: Rufus Chaffee
Directed By: John Depew
As an indie no-to-low budget film, "Lazarus Rising" was quite impressive; as I'm sure you guessed by my review score. I pondered long and hard on this one, wondering if I should give it a four or higher. In the end, I really enjoyed this film and that's all that really matters. Right? Here lies an action film that most of us have seen before, although in this particular case, the narrative seemed fresh and shiny new. A timeless theme (of sorts) always remains timeless when written well. If nothing else, "Lazarus Rising" proves that point. Ethics, doing what's right and all the areas of grey between come out in this production. The end result being one hell of a film. Indie or not. This is the stuff we hope for when sitting down for an hour and a half. Something that catches us and takes us away from our own little world, even for a while. That feeling I'm talking about? Here's where you'll find it.
Technically, "Lazarus Rising" seems to take it's inspirations from the great films of the 90s. The colors and pacing, even the dialog itself seems written for that era. I'm not talking about a cheap gimmick though, I'm talking a style that completely fits the world that writer Rufus Chaffee has worked to create. The result is a contrasted and moody experience that guides us along through-out the film. All this is held together with a slick, fast paced edit that seems to compliment the story, rather than trying to overpower it. Now we turn to the acting itself. Well done all around! Instead of mentioning the actors individually, let me just write this. Everyone, even the extras seem to have a story. Everyone also happened to portray their respective characters with distinction. I mean... I can't even really find fault with the guy who's on-screen for 30 seconds! Everyone was believable, credible and cheese free. A real feather in the cap for all of them, as well as for director John Depew himself. My only real complaints with this production, and they are minor... are a few odd sounding audio bits. Don't get me wrong, the audio here is not on par with a multi-million dollar production, but it's pretty damn good for an indie. It would have no problem being broadcast on network television. Some care has been taken to make it the best it can be. A few of the actual sound effects themselves however, during some of the action sequences mainly, seemed slightly cartoon-ish... because of the sound effects themselves. A few other instances of slight annoyance was some of the camera work. Again, all minor and for the vast majority, I loved the lensing of this film. The style really mimicked the feeling of the film. Or, maybe it was the feeling of the film! There were however, a few blurs, a couple ill framed shots and shaky cam elements. Although few, they kept reminding me this was an indie production. I get it. Really I do. The idea of going in hand-held to create tension or action is a good one in theory. In a large percentage of cases however, I personally prefer old school, locked shots. Keep in mind reader, these are all small issues. You may not even notice. I just happen to "have" to point out something in this technical section of the review. Or I wouldn't be much of a reviewer.
"Lazarus Rising" is what you hope an indie film will be. Hell, it's what you hope most major studio backed films will be. Enjoyable, action packed and strangely fun to watch. If this sounds like something you may be interested in... grab yourself a copy of this when you can. It does the trick and does it well. Excellent job all around.
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