A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
This film is flawed from the very first shot. It's so ironical as Franco the director, puts his choices above that of the actors. In a piece like this, character should come first. He places his horrendous split screen first. I'm curious to know whether this was the intended manner or whether the original edit was so lackluster he tried to beef it up with split screen. I'm not against that method per se, but in a period piece like this, especially given the story, you have to be able to relate to one character at least. He jumps in without bothering to connect us emotionally to anyone.
It feels, and is amateurish. Its surprising, given his depth of performances over a long period in all types of films, yet here he makes mistakes from the most inexperienced of first time directors. With his record, it's hard to imagine how he could have stuffed it up so badly. Perhaps he wasn't taking enough notice on set. It's actually boring and that is the worst sin a director can commit.
His choice of subject matter is commendable, but it belongs in the hands of a much more experienced director, something he will come to regret if he hasn't done so already.
There are a few decent shots but the editing wounds it. (Much to the horror of the cinematographer). The split screen comes in for the final kill. Alternatively, the same intrusive method also takes your attention away from what is poorly executed scenes, complete with bad acting. Unfortunate for the other actors who try. Franco has to take the fall for all of it. It really is poorly directed. However, he is famous enough to survive it. For now. Other actors have tried directing and failed and continued on with successful acting careers. It's like they need to try it on for once, to appease their egos. Directing is not something someone can simply adopt. It's a very specific skill set. If James is to be a director then he really needs to go back to the beginning and start learning the craft, like for example, Ben Affleck. Ben was never a great actor, but at least he took his time coming to directing and chose the right subject matter. You start simply and work your way up. Tarantino didn't start with Kill Bill or Inglorious Bastards. He began simply.
Franco has expressed an interest in tackling Bukowski's Ham on Rye. The man clearly appreciates good literature (and writes also) but if he's going to make films out of such important work then he better be able to do a much better job than he's done here. I like the man, but Francly (intentional), I was embarrassed for him.
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