4 Jul 2013

'Black Rock' Review

Director: Katie Aselton
Writers: Mark Duplass, Katie Aselton
Stars:  Katie AseltonLake BellKate Bosworth

Three childhood friends set aside their personal issues and reunite for a girls' weekend on a remote island off the coast of Maine. One wrong move turns their weekend getaway into a deadly fight for survival.

Black Rock, is basically a mixed bag of treats, some you like, some you don't, it's that simple. Having its moments, Black Rock can be a cunning, intense chase thriller with extra lean with that mean, but then it can be a drab, effortless attempt to display something new, and judging by the short running time of 79 minutes, it's pretty obvious that Duplass' lake of ideas had suddenly run dry, and judging by the complete lack of originality around the middle act, it's clear that what had started off as a good idea, just didn't have enough depth to carry a feature-length film. 

Black Rock is quick for the thrills to begin, but stumbles with execution, and with a second act that lacks in any sort of originality, its hard to enjoy a film that doesn't deliver the amount of energy and enthusiasm it requires.

The whole concept takes the lead of being a serious chase thriller, but when the pages hit the screen, you can help but feel that everything could have been done a bit better, and with such poor direction and such a good performance from Aselton, we know now what her talent is, and what she should stick to in the future, acting. A strong story unfortunately can't carry a film, and although it tries, struggles and falls in the middle act, it finds it hard to pick it back up and carry on, hence the sloppy final act, and although it was the best of the rest, I could help but feel it could have been done better, and the blatant loss of intensity only enhances the sensation; you should have took a leaf out of Wolf Creek's book.

In saying all of this, I did find myself involved in the plot and the characters, and as they say, in every grey cloud there's a silver lining. The acting from the get-go was superb, and despite a few mumbling issues on Aselton's behalf, it can be forgiven due to her bad-ass character who gets in there like swimwear. For the male viewers only, a particular yet slightly pointless scene somewhat resembling something from Cannibal Holocaust were the 2 girls literally run around the woods butt-naked making weapons, and although this was clearly designed to be a serious moment, it was unintentionally funny. A Good sign? I don't think so.

VERDICT: Black Rock starts as a lean chase-thriller, and slowly but surely it becomes dry on originality and becomes a cliche bombardment around the final act, and although it's not looked upon completely as a bad thing, it's still unworthy for a film with a strong premise, characters and inept action.

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