REVIEWS FOR INDEPENDENT FILM, LOW BUDGET FILM, SHORT FILM & WEB SERIES
A baseball cap wearing secret agent? Check. Some nifty gadgets straight from your favorite science fiction film? Check. A new school for aspiring spy kids - of the young teenage persuasion? Check-a-roo. Those three bullet-points essentially sum up "Pocketman and Cargoboy" from writers, director Clay Moffatt and Mackenzie Clark. Ideally it sounds great - although a little familiar for anyone who has watched the "Spy Kids" franchise. The difference here, is that this is an indie film - and that there's also some neato time travel aspects stuffed within the films hour and a half - or so. Oh, and in case you're wondering... yes. There are some fight scenes as well. Would you expect anything less?
In the world of "Pocketman and Cargoboy" things are a little different. For example, WW3 was a thing, and our government has been keeping high tech secrets from the general public for years - including the ability to travel through time. Come to think of it? Maybe our real world and the movies fantastical one really are the same. Guess it all depends on who you talk with. In the film however, agent Jayden Hill decides to conduct an experiment. Taking in young teens and teaching them the ways of the spy-folk. Imagine a Hogwarts school on a much smaller scale. It's here, that agent Hill and his cohorts will educate these kids in math, literacy and super secret weapons, tech and conspiracies.
The bulk of the film follows along as the kids learn the craft, leaving the final act open for the real world event, that could destroy all of humanity. As you may have guessed, our trio of students are the only ones capable of rendering aid - and altering the timeline to stop the dastardly Fantom, from his devilish world ending propositions. Obviously. This isn't Mary Poppins ladies and gents.
I'm going to preface these next few paragraphs with this. All issues of this movie aside, both technically and plot-wise, "Pocketman and Cargoboy" is a fun film to watch. If you can ignore, and not nit-pick, you'll have a good time with this film. Never once did I feel the need to take a break from watching, I just allowed myself to go with it and consider it for what it is. Entertainment. This film is designed to have fun with. Once you realize that... most will have a great time.
So this is a low budget indie film. I'm not going to spend a lot of time writing about the darkness of some scenes - or the audio that is up and down. I'm going to focus instead, on other aspects that actually mattered to me. Mainly the plot itself.
The plot? Full of micro-issues and questionable actions. Clearly this film is a fiction, and is meant to be over the top. Yet there are some things that I couldn't help but notice. For starters... we're introduced to the third class-mate at the end of act two. Without going into much details, I only really have one question. Why? Aside from including a girl for the sake of including a girl, there was no real point in her being there. Her acting was good and all... but from a purely plot point of view, there was no need. That's not the end of it either. Because of her inclusion, something very bad happens at the end of the film. One of the movies namesakes, Cargoboy himself, becomes a useless tool during the movies climax. You read that right... Cargoboy has nothing really to do with the final events - and it really makes a person ask... why was he even in the film? All of that lead-up and training is essentially thrown away - because CB is not involved in climax... and the newly introduced character is. It didn't really make any sense to me.
Other than that, there are some plot holes involving the time travel itself, and some unusual narrative choices that added a lengthy feel to the film... for no reason at all. Such as the opening scenes involving a torch wielding super villain. I liked the scene itself - but it had no bearing at all on the film. Perhaps if he had been brought in again later on... it would have made more sense. First rule of movie making? Only use what drives the story forward... or so I'm told.
At the end of the day, as I stated above, if you go into this to have a good time you'll have no problems. It's a fun film. There's a little comedy, a little action, and some science fiction elements sprinkled in for good measure. Everything needed to keep you watching. Everything isn't perfect. Maybe some wooden acting here and there, and insane plot choices - but overall nothing that made me groan as I watched. I feel a three star rating accurately lays out my general feelings - and that ain't bad. Now if I could only find that SHATTER stick...