FILM INFO: Wracked by nightmares of the abduction of his stripper sister, Lucas Chance sets out to rescue her from a tangled in a web of human trafficking and experimentation, in the process discovering the dreams he suffers from are not his own.
WRITTEN BY: Rick Anthony DIRECTED BY: Rick Anthony, Bryce Schlamp GENRE: Sci-Fi TIME: 81 minutes.
Two parts cornball. One part adventure. One part cool. This is the recipe that best describes "Patient 62" from Rick Anthony. In my eyes anyhow. Here we have an indie, low budget flick, with what many would consider pipe-dream hopes in terms of scale. Super hero inspired flicks are never easy to do well. Even with a decent budget backing them. Yet, in many ways "Patient 62" really sticks it to da-man, and actually does manage to deliver. Maybe not perfectly, all the time - but more than enough for me to have some fun with it. "Patient 62" borrows heavily from the tried and true hero formula most of us already know. The stuff that's so cliche - it's become more-or-less a part of our very culture. Kidnapping. Evil doctor experimenting with a substance that accidentally is introduced to a person, and accepted by their body. Super powers that result from the exposure. Massive evil thugs. Another evil thug with a very distracting scar - and of course, our new super heroes attempt at a rescue, with his sidekick. Or in this case, two sidekicks. As a viewer reading what I've just written, I couldn't help but think of how many times I've been here before. Of how many times I've seen this done so well with a massive budget. And yet again, "Patient 62" still works. Perhaps it's in the script writing. Perhaps the secret is with the cast or maybe, with the movies direction, from Rick Anthony and Bryce Schlamp. Whatever the reason, this film does come across as "fresh" enough to be enjoyable - although maybe a little lost at times when deciding how it wants to be taken in. You see... The first chunk of "Patient 62" for me, felt more like an adventure. Hell, I was actually waiting for some heavy comedy to introduce itself. Even though it didn't, "Patient 62" felt light, fun, and with a hint of darker imagery. Then, at some point things changed. We went from adventure to gritty action... more or less. The fun feeling adventure was replaced by a brooding action feeling that demanded to be taken seriously. Even though the content said otherwise. Genre switching has worked in the past, but mostly... it just doesn't. Perhaps the intent right from the start was a dark action flick. It just didn't feel that way. Mixed with the color scheme of the film, the edit, and of course the actors... I simply feel this should have remained light and adventurous. The blood and brains and curse words felt out of place. I feel weird typing that because - who doesn't love blood and brains and cursing? It just felt weird and wrong, especially during the last bit of the second, and into the third act. This wasn't a deal-breaker however, as I wrote above, I still had a good time with this flick. No doubt about that. Regarding production quality? Generally, "Patient 62" looks pretty darn good. Maybe not fifty million dollar budget good, but still pretty damn nice. I'm writing about the general camera work, the edit, for the most part, and the quality of sound. Some of the special effects were... completely unfitting and really added to the "cornball" factor of the film. In some instances, it would have been better to simply use audio to signify Lucas's power. However, some of the effects were perfectly fitting and looked really cool. The knife, err, blade work effects looked awesome in my eyes. It's just strange to jump from one extreme to another, effects-wise anyhow. Another aspect that is worth bringing up is the scar on Glenn LaPointe's character, Kelly. Completely distracting. There's no other way to put it. Every time LaPointe was onscreen, doing a great job I might add, I couldn't help but simply be taken out of the film... and stare at the scar. Bigger is not always better and when a synthetic looks so large and strange, it's hard not to stare - resulting in myself being taken right out of the film for a time. Aside from that, the cast does a decent job. Maybe a little hollow at times, but believe it or not, that actually adds to the charm of the film. Regarding our leading man Lucas, I completely understand his casting. Reece Wagner does look the part. A nice guy. I would have loved to see a more drastic change in personality by the end of the film, maybe a little more shedding of the good persona. And he does try to become more bad-ass - but realistically, perhaps some kind of makeup would have done the trick. Maybe a little dark under the eyes... or something, to enhance his acting and showcase a darker change. Overall, he's done a great job and does, in fact, fit the bill rather nicely. More at the start of the film however. When it's all said and done, "Patient 62" may not be the next major super hero film. However, I wouldn't be surprised if at some point down the road, it becomes a campy favorite for a lot of people. What really matters, at this point in time, was if it was entertaining or not? All problems aside... did I like this movie? Yes. Yes I did. You don't need to boast perfection to end up with a good production. Sometimes, it's the imperfect aspects that really make a movie stand out. Generally speaking, this film is well above average... and better than many major studio films I've seen over the years. Excellent job to the cast and crew. A well earned three and a half stars.