What an strangely so-so, oddly-conceived, painfully mixed bag this film is...
"Slice" is the strange story of Small Town, USA...which also happens to harbor various monsters in it, such as ghosts, witches and werewolves. It also runs primarily off of food delivery services, specifically a tiny little pizza place that may very well be the gates to Hell.
...See, from that log line alone, one would be HOOKED to see what goes down in this film, no?...
"Slice" is the writing and directorial debut of Austin Vesely, who previously directed music videos, and also the acting debut of Chance The Rapper, who has worked with Vesely before (And, to be quite honest, is in this film so little it's a wonder why he gets top billing...). While I want to believe this was a concept the two of them dreamed-up one strange night, I cannot be totally sure.
What I CAN be totally sure of is how much this film works and doesn't work is completely inconsistent, which is truly a shame because there's plenty of things I really enjoyed here...and plenty of things that were absolutely dreadful.
"Slice" fancies itself very much in the same threads of a 80's B-movie run amok. Much of the film is very tongue-in-cheek, the world is played for laughs quite often, and the horror is downplayed often to show how ridiculous the story is getting and keeps borrowing strands of other lore to incorporate and stack the strangeness.
In this case, the screenplay is the one to blame, and the screenplay in its content is hardly lacking in quality. Plenty of monster movie lore is touched-up and taken-from to plant the seeds of an interesting world this film can take place in, and for a long while the tone and world really did mesh and created a fun little world to run around in.
The issue becomes clear about halfway through the film, however; the film's script lands about as often as a shotgun hits a rifle target. That's to say, it is ALL OVER the place, scattershot, throws every bullet at every angle, and rarely hits its bulls-eye.
The script feels cobbled-together, constantly trying to balance about five different sub-plots in a run-time that barely qualifies as a feature-length film (82 minutes? Come on now...). Various characters are established and then never seen again, or are woefully underutilized (You cast Joe Keery and Hannibal Burress and use them for 2-3 scenes MAX? C'mon now...).
Add-in that the humor sometimes hits, sometimes does not. There are big laughs in here, but at other times, the script or the actors can't seem to stick the landing and thus creates giant joke bombs where the film truly needs them most. There was clearly a FUNNY script here, but either the talent or revisions let it down.
Speaking of revisions...Good gravy, was the climax of this film ever hacked-apart and cobbled-together. It feels so patchwork and unfinished in how swift they simply try to end the film, I almost wonder if they simply did not have anything left in the budget to complete it. The cinematography was poor, the editing was poor, the makeup and effects were poor...Everything was just noticeably bad, and not something that should've been in a film that (Presumably) was slated for a theatrical release.
The concept also feels very much wasted in such a short film that never delivers on the promise of the premise. We get these opening moments where we are introduced to a world where humans, ghosts and other supernatural creatures co-exist...yet there's not much fun had with that concept beyond a few jokes and the climax, which simply falls flat on its face. An opportunity was missed with a concept this insane and destined to be fun, and it seems only half the fun was had with the idea.
For all things negative that I have to say...there do exist some bright spots to this otherwise disappointing and confusing venture.
The cinematography can actually be quite good at times, particularly when lighting is played with. It almost achieves its desired effect of an 80's B-level schlock film, something akin to 'The Monster Squad' if it were made in 2018. While in some moments the film looks like a TV sitcom, in rare cases I can really admire what work went into the staging.
The score is also nothing to shrug at, as its use of Synth somewhat works in its favor as another 80's callback. Clearly there was inspiration here, and it mostly works in the film itself. If it had made itself more prevalent, perhaps the score could've saved some more face.
I also can't help but touch-upon the premise again and the world this film "tries" to create, despite its minimal effort. It really is an oddly FUN, weird world it builds for us early on. Much as little is ever developed with it, I really would've loved to see a better writer and a better director and a bigger budget tackle it.
But in the end...this film is a mess. A mess of good things, but a mess of bad things just as well. A great score, great cinematography and a strangely interesting concept are counteracted by a poor script, a terrible climax, and technical aspects that seem just as inconsistent as this entire film seems to be.
For me, I almost dare to give this film extra points because I actually enjoyed some parts of it enough to say I didn't "Hate" it...but at the same time, I know I can't in good conscious recommend it.
It's an ambitious, poorly-executed, disappointing, slightly-interesting mixed bag, for me...
Action / Comedy / Crime / Fantasy / Horror
Action / Comedy / Crime / Fantasy / Horror
When a pizza delivery driver is murdered on the job, the city searches for someone to blame: ghosts? drug dealers? a disgraced werewolf?
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 60,903 times
April 30, 2019 at 12:37 PM