The Low Down Movie Review

I like the slacker mentality, really I do. Nights of parties, days of sleeping them off, not a care in the world. The sad thing is that, with rare exception (namely Slacker), movies about the slacker mentality come off as if they too were made without a care in the world.

The Low Down is Exhibit A when it comes to this offense. Lazy, meandering, mopey, and flat, this is a cheap-looking film obsessed with showing off a hip image it doesn't actually have.

The brainchild of UK music video director Jamie Thraves, The Low Down ostensibly tells the story of a guy named Frank (Aiden Gillen), a twentysomething slacker who has a crisis of sorts as he realizes he has no life. Enter Ruby (Kate Ashfield), a fresh-faced lass, to try and break him out of his funk. Will he elevate himself into a new kind of existence? Jesus, I can't even make this sound interesting.

Sure enough, The Low Down is boring and trite, something that might have been passable as a film school project if only Thraves had made it a decade ago. But this existential wannabe can't even drop in a wry joke, as scene after scene starts flat and ends even flatter. By the finale, 90 minutes later, we have a dumb, ambiguous ending dropped on us -- something that theoretically would challenge us to think about Frank's condition, but doesn't work simply because we're too bored to care what happens to Frank at all. Thraves comes off as simply too afraid to make a point.

As for its production, everything about The Low Down comes off as cheap. Shot on Super 16 and mostly with a handheld camera, it's supposed to look avant garde and edgy. Instead it looks rushed and lazy. The sound is just as bad, muffled and often drowned out by street noise. Which leaves me to wonder: Where is the music? What kind of music video director doesn't have a kickin' soundtrack to punctuate his "art," anyway? Not a very good one, I guess.

As Low as it gets.


Comments

The Low Down Rating

" Grim "

Rating: NR, 2000

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