Monday, 30 July 2012

Review - P2 (2007 - Dir. Franck Khalfoun)

When I saw that Alexandre Aja (Switchblade Romance) had written and produced this, I had certain expectations even though his recent films haven't lived up to his initial promise. After half an hour I had forgotten all about his involvement because I seemed to be watching a fairly standard issue thriller.

Angela (Rachel Nichols - Alias) is a go-getting ladder-climbing no-nonsense business lady working hard and late on Christmas Eve. Everyone else sensibly goes home for some eggnog and mince pie action leaving her to her own brown-nosing antics. Seeing as though this is a thriller, it needs a slightly unhinged security guard to pep it up. In comes, Thomas (Wes Bentley), a slightly unhinged security guard. Brilliant.

What follows for the next forty minutes is... well... dull. It is completely average thriller fare. No tension. No major threat. I was beginning to feel a tad disappointed.

Then it all kicks off with some cream of the crop excessive violence, similar in style and level to the 'head between the stair railings' incident in Switchblade Romance. I cheered up no end. At that point I remembered who had written it. 

Everything from then onwards still takes the standard thriller route but there is always the thought that some more gory violence could be just around the corner. And at times that is exactly what you get: Fulci fans get a small portion of ocular trauma to keep them stocked up for a little while.

As with most thrillers, Angela doesn't always do what is expected. She has a chance to kill Thomas' nutter dog. She doesn't. (My idea was to push the filing cabinet over so that it landed precisely on the dog's head. Quick and painless. Plus it's better than it chasing you at ninety miles an hour through a parking garage later in the film trying to bite your butt cheeks off.) If you were trapped in an office, what would you do? Yep, set off the fire alarm. She doesn't do that either. Also, the ending leaves a nasty taste in the mouth, a bit like hummus. I can understand that Angela will do anything it takes to move up in her job, and that maybe she leans towards the cold side of things, but her final act is parkier than the plums from a squirrel that has been trapped in a freezer compartment for the best part of a month.

So the ending spoils things somewhat, but is it still worth watching? If you like a portion of extreme violence and a cleavage garnish served with your thrillers then, yes, you will get something out of P2. If you like a bit of cress pleasantly sprinkled over your thrillers then give it a miss.

If you like this you could also try:
Neighbor, Wolf Creek, Switchblade Romance.

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