The Bicentennial Production Design - Can we just give a standing ovation to the 1976 Academy for giving the award to a contemporary movie? They had a Western, a period drama about the theatre...
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Overall Score: 8.50/10
I have to be honest, A Town Called Panic frustrates me deeply. It is almost entirely Univarn critic proof. My usual go to items on character development, lack of narrative flow, or blatant misnomers pale in comparison to the film's sheer "WTF" factor. A factor so pushed to the extreme of its capabilities, one might imagine this film ought to be watched through multiple levels of consciousness if only in the name of determining which level most amplifies this film's more unique qualities. Because let's be honest, there's absolutely no way you could complain about the movie's weak characters and still keep a straight face when suddenly the image of cow kamikazes works itself into the forefront of your brain.
So I find it hard to know what to say about the film. I think it's pretty much a movie that can only be reviewed on the enjoyment factor. That's how it sells, and presents itself. There's no "now my main character will twist his head in a slightly downward and away direction in the hope of gaining audience sympathy even though he has less dimensions than the marketing's cardboard cutout of him" scenes which press the dramatic issue that's just not there. Nope, A Town Called Panic starts off with a small slice of zany, and just continues piling until the credits roll.
Which leaves the question - how much of the film did I actually enjoy? A pretty good percentage. I won't say I found everything to be quite as glorious, and certain sequences left me wondering more about what will happen next and less about what's going on in the moment. But that is the film's greatest strength. Even during its moments which are low on entertainment, there's a constant feeling that what will happen next can only be even better. This is important for a reason all too often forgotten by Hollywood blockbusters - it keeps you smiling, guessing, and wanting more throughout the film. There's no better feeling than walking away from a movie knowing that at no point did you think "this is a waste of time."
Now I'm not going to deny that A Town Called Panic appeals to a very specific base of filmgoers. Those who expect nothing less than a montage of 'realistic' over the top action sequences loosely tied together by what someone calls a plot, are probably not going to be quick to hop on the Panic bandwagon. Same might be said for those who see the world in only "chick flicks" and "everything else." So if you're going to seek out and indulge in this experience, consider yourself warned. But I should say, I'd recommend indulging in this anyway.