Electric Man (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner30/11/2012

One out of Five stars
Running time: 98 mins

Utterly dismal, can't-quite-believe-it's-really-this-bad Scottish comedy that's inept on every conceivable level, from the atrocious performances to the appalling script and the dreadful direction and editing.

What's it all about?
Co-written and directed by David Barras, Electric Man stars Toby Manley and Mark McKirdy as Jas (pronounced Jazz, but short for Jason) and Wolf, the two nerdy owners of Deadhead Comics in Edinburgh, who discover that they need to come up with £5000 in order to save their shop. Meanwhile, Glasgow wrong'un Jimmy (Derek Dick) apparently murders his comic-collecting brother and attempts to sell a mint condition copy of the first Electric Man comic from 1937 to obsessive American collector Edison Bolt (Mark McDonell), who's willing to pay up to £100,000.

Jimmy and Edison choose a Glasgow comic convention as the location for their deal, but just as Jimmy hands the comic over for inspection, it's stolen by a young child, who hides it in the boxes belonging to – you guessed it – Jas and Wolf. Sure enough, the young men find themselves targeted by both Edison and Jimmy separately, as well as a mysterious cape-wearing ginger woman named Lauren McCall (Jennifer Ewing).

The Bad
There's so much wrong with Electric Man that it's difficult to know where to start. For one thing, it's rare that you see a film where every single performance is terrible, but Electric Man somehow pulls that off, with each actor either resorting to gormless mugging (Manley, McDonell) or hitting new levels of woodenness (McKirdy, Ewing) or achieving a potent combination of the two.

On top of that, the script is all over the place. The central idea is promising (the publicity promises a ‘Clerks meets The Maltese Falcon’ vibe and that ridiculous claim is funnier than anything in the film), but the script completely squanders it, getting bogged down in pointless chase sequences, poorly thought-out sexual escapades (Wolf is trying to win back his ex-girlfriend but randomly ends up in bed with someone else) and endless rounds of tedious exposition scenes, culminating in an explanation-heavy finale that seems to go on for half of the film.

The Worse
As if that wasn't bad enough, the direction and editing are extremely poor, to the point where eye-lines don't match up within sequences and characters behave differently from scene to scene without explanation (Jas comes back from a meeting with Lauren with something apparently important on his mind, but, despite having witnessed the entire meeting, we have no idea what he's thinking). The film also falls down on seemingly simple things like establishing shots: during the sequence at the comic convention, for example, the camera cuts between Lauren and the child, Jas and Wolf and Jimmy and Edison, but you have no idea where they are in relation to each other or even that they're all in the same room.

Worth seeing?
Simply put, Electric Man is one of the worst films of the year. Avoid.

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Content updated: 23/10/2017 05:22

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