Sunday, 25 September 2011

Review - Ink (2009 - Dir. Jamin Winans)

There's a certain DIY quality to Jamin Winan's urban fantasy that is both engaging and irritating in equal measure. After watching the extras it becomes apparent that Winan was unable to secure funding from any major studios and had to scrape finance together from other sources to make his film. To his credit he didn't hold back on the scope or ambition of his project and Ink is an interesting mix of styles, effects and storytelling. Having said that this is a long way from an Oscar nomination.

The best bits all centre around the evil guys. Their visual representation is really creepy, original and different, with their monitor style faces showing the most evil, smug grins as they slink around, snickering in suitably menacing fashion. The fight scenes are also reasonably effective in a Vauxhall Conference version of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon kind of way. The special effects overall are average, but considering the budget they hold their own against bigger blockbusters than this, and wouldn't look out of place in Torchwood. I'm not sure if that is praise or criticism.

The whole look and feel of the film is like a children's drama series from the last century, something like a cross between The Tomorrow People and The Sarah Jane Adventures which is at times a little distracting. Worse is to come however: the acting throughout is at best amateurish and at worst like Children's BBC presenters in the end of year panto. The costumes and make-up don't help matters either as both display the trademark 'homemade' quality that run throughout the film, and you get the feeling that a trip to the Party Warehouse and Primark with £50 could have kitted out the whole cast much more effectively.

Maybe these criticisms are a little harsh but the combination of issues make it impossible to concentrate on the story. A story which is arguably one of the film's strong points. Pound for pound it's probably one of the best films ever made but unfortunately it doesn't quite cut it in the Premier League of film. Worth a watch though, and if your expectations are not too high it's relatively enjoyable.

If you like this you could try:
Dark City, Labyrinth.

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