Pages

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Craig MacLachlan's Kickboxing "Glory Hunter" Original But Hurt By Pacing Woes

"GLORY HUNTER" (2014)
Genre: Drama
Length- 17:48
Company: Insomnia Performance Group
Website: Official Facebook

Jerry Gallagher (real life kickboxer Duncan Airlie James) is a professional fighter who has pursued the dream of World Championship before, and every time he comes close, but he can't quite close the deal. 

Enter Lyndsay, a hot new girlfriend (Elanor Miller), whose beauty, youth and gold digging go unappreciated by Gallagher's long time manager, Joe (John Gaffney).

Gallagher's going to have to make a choice of who he wants in his corner, and it just might be the hardest decision he's ever had to make.

SNIP SNIP

"Glory Hunter" comes to your computer screen all the way from Glasgow courtesy of the new production company Insomnia Performance Group.  This is their first release, and I've got to admit that the movie interested me.  I've never seen a kickboxing love triangle drama before.

That being said, director Craig McLachlan (who also appears in the film as Tom) is stuck with several very talky scenes, and as a result even at under 18 minutes, the film still runs overly long.

Fortunately, Duncan Airlie James is a capable leading man and he keeps the boat afloat.  He has a wonderfully understated acting style that makes him immediately vulnerable, and despite thin writing his is a hero easily worth rooting for.  He explodes at the end, quite credibly, and we realize that maybe the titular "Glory Hunter" isn't who we thought it was after all.

THE TROUBLES I'VE SEEN

Despite good performances from James and Gaffney, "Glory Hunter" suffers from being visually boring.  There's just not much going on here -- we jump from fight to fight, never really getting to know any one character long enough to develop much of an attachment to them.  James comes off okay thanks to his natural, "gentle giant" charisma, but Miller's entire role is simply to look sexy, and Joe is The Best Friend / Manager stereotype throughout.

This lack of authenticity in the characters causes us to nod when the conclusion comes, but we're not moved, and being moved is why we watch a drama in the first place.

OVERALL SCORES:

Writing: 2.5 / 5.  Gaffney's character literally says "Jerry" about ten times in one lengthy conversation in the sparring room.  That's a good example of how the dialogue falters here.  The actors are able to elevate the material somewhat, but these characters don't feel like people, they feel like cutouts.
Directing: 3 / 5.  MacLachlan does his best with what he has, but his locations are beyond limited and since 99% of this film is arguing between different characters, he's stuck with back and forth headshots for the bulk of it.
Editing: 2 / 5.  The conversations stretch on and on and on, and as a result the film's pacing takes a direct hit and never really recovers, even when Gallagher finally gets in the ring.
Sound/Music: 2 / 5.  Nothing stuck out for me, but I could hear the dialogue and the sound effects were cued up properly. 
Acting: 3 / 5.  James comes out as the biggest success of this short, though Gaffney does an admirable job with what he's given.  Miller looks great, and to her credit what lines she has, she delivers effectively.

Final Grade: 2.5 / 5.

Don't forget to check out "Glory Hunter" on VIMEO and see what the Insomnia Performance Group is up to next on Facebook!





Thanks for reading! I'm a screenwriter and script consultant. Most recently, I've worked with LMC Productions and Mad Antz Films in Australia. I helped mold Goodybag Productions' award winning screenplay "The Teacher" and Michael Maguire's feature length script "The Wolfpack", which is still in development.

Check out my blog and let's get in touch!