John McElroy, Brett Jones
John McElroy, Randy Wright
Expectations. Usually they are the downfall of many things but every so often, the exact opposite happens. Those low expectations completely elevate a thing, person or production. Much like the initial perceptions I had of Guy Montaine, the leading character of this film. "Rocky Mountain Fast Guy" just didn't feel like it would be much to watch. I have no real reason why I felt this way, only that I did. My expectations were low to say the least - I could only hope it was at least watchable, since it sits close to two hours long. Man... was I wrong. The easiest way to put it? This was a great movie! When you consider it's indie, low budget nature, things are all the sweeter. Another perfect example that low budget or independent don't always mean bad. This film is actually an excellent example - as a matter of fact.
Guy Montaine is essentially a loser. Perhaps loser is not quite the accurate description - but using the term unlucky fits perfectly. He's a musician / songwriter who like so many before him, has little chance of actually breaking into the industry - but more importantly, hasn't even tried. He plays and writes, but has never fully committed himself. That is, until a drastic and unfortunate instance lands him in jail. It's here that the cards are lined up for his journey to Nashville - and his introduction to many different people. Most of whom are instrumental to this story. Some of these people are good, some not so much. But all of them have a part to play as Guy slowly moves closer to his goal. Well... most of them. In a nutshell? "Rocky Mountain Fast Guy" is a road trip film with music as the backbone. A tough story to do right with a low budget, making this movie even better to watch and write about.
I can't help but think of the old Mr. Rogers theme song as I think about this film. The people that you meet when you're walking down the street - remember? In many ways, this film is the very definition of that opening Mr. Rogers theme. There are so many people, background characters, in this film that it could have easily become a big mess. It didn't. Even though some of the characters could have been scratched out, to save some length, they still managed to fit into the film. Perhaps they didn't do much for the plot, but did flesh out the world the film lives in... a little. From a production standpoint, "Rocky Mountain Fast Guy" ended up being quite impressive. It looks and sounds great, feeling much larger than it probably was. A tribute to the cast and crew.
Not everything is roses however, as this film did feel a little long. Certain scenes could have been trimmed out, and it's also these scenes that provided the B-Movie feeling I had from time to time. These instances were few, and hardly changed my outlook on the entire film. They were there though, from time to time. As an example? Earlier in the film Guy has a physical run-in with his step dad. There's a shot of the two running down the stairs - and it actually looks really funny. Almost cartoon like. Bringing things back a few lines, this B-shot could have been completely removed. Cutting instead, directly to the two outside the house. The entire stairs/hallway scene wasn't needed to get the point across. Not at all. Removing it would have shaved a few seconds from the length, and removed one of those awkward looking scenes. A few sections of the film were like this, but I feel this instance demonstrates my point more than enough.
Back to the good? The acting was pretty damn sweet. Considering the really large cast, I won't do the name dropping thing - but will say that all the main cast really held nothing back. The characters in this film are real and believable. Even Guy himself, played by John McElroy, was believable. I only write that because his character is so unlucky, that becoming a satire could have easily taken place.
At the end of the day? I really liked this film. Obviously... considering my rating. It is a road trip/journey movie, full of entertaining characters and comedic situations. It's also somewhat of a musical adventure, and in my books... made it even better. The darker elements were handled properly, so the mood and feel remained consistent. Something many folks don't get right. With an old school look and feel, "Rocky Mountain Fast Guy" will worm it's way into the hearts of a lot of unsuspecting people I imagine. Especially considering that it, for whatever reason, doesn't look like it has much to offer. That thing up top about expectations? Really helps with this film... a well earned four stars. Nice work.