Sunday, 29 August 2010

No.55 : The Job



The economic downturn is the backdrop to this decent but ultimately unsatisfying parable about greed and what desperate people will do in desperate circumstances.

We open with our hero Bubba checking the want ads. He’s had three jobs in a month and can’t even afford the special at the diner where his potential girlfriend works. His job search is interrupted when the fast talking Ron ‘Hellboy’ Perlman shows up and gives him his leftovers. We soon learn that our man is a decent, if somewhat na├»ve, man who offers the stranger a bed for the night.

Ron is an enigmatic character who sets his watch for 72 hours whenever he blows into town as 3 days is as much as he can take of any one place. As a thank you Ron gives our man a job lead that he himself was given and so he sets off in his good suit.

The job interview is a strange to say the least with Joe Pantoliano, who looks like Rob Newman doing ‘History Today’, offering a lucrative contract to strangle a man. The strange thing is the man to be strangled and his wife are sitting in on the chat and quite happy to go over the details. It seems the victim has crossed his wife’s father and has accepted his fate.

Bubba is shocked at first but the prospect of $200k is tempting. He confides in Ron who on seeing his predicament offers to do the job for him for half the money. This seems like a good deal but in this work nothing is what it seems and the offer of easy money always comes with strings attached , especially in mortality tales like this one.

This film started out well and I liked its other worldly feel where everything was a little off kilter and not what it seemed. It did however lack a full 90 minutes worth of plot and I found myself nodding off before the big reveal as to who was the really bad guy and who were just the pawns.

Patrick Flueger did well with the lead role of Bubba, an everyman loser with not a lot going his way. He fancies the waitress but can’t make a move as he’s got no money. His morality shift was a bit sudden and given the waitress was a bit plain I wasn’t too convinced. Ron Perlman, whom I’ve got a lot of time for, was a bit over the top and although he was playing a huckster type it just came across as frantic over acting.

The general mood of the film was depressing and although there were a couple of smiles it was a generally downward spiral from the off. The sombre mood, muted palette and downbeat score mean that it is a hard film to enjoy and the meandering and unsubstantial pay off will make you wonder why you bothered staying the course.

THE Tag Line : Retire ‘The Job’ Early 54%

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