Newest Review: ... from The Full Monty). During this part of the movie, we learn a secret is being kept from one of the two characters, which gives us mor... more
A bit of a mixed bag - Amusing at times but a bit muddled
Beyond The Pole (DVD)
Member Name: IzzyS
Beyond The Pole (DVD)
Advantages: Some funny scenes, concept generally speaking (a bit different), some characters
Disadvantages: Not overly keen on Mark, the ending (change of tone)
- Story -
Two friends, Mark and Brian, decide to set out on a long trip across the arctic to the north pole, with a radio enthusiast keeping in touch with them from a small caravan in England as they endeavour to reach the north pole, hopefully becoming the first expedition that cross the arctic unsupported, carbon neutral and as vegetarians while gaining the medias attention and bringing the issue of climate change to the forefront for Brits at home and also aiming to achieve the Guiness World Record.
- More Info., Thoughts & Opinions -
The film (its really more like a one off TV show though rather than a full blown feature film, to be honest) starts off by setting the scene with a pair of clearly rather bumbling middle class, uh, blokes who live in a suburban area with not much going on in their rather humdrum life other than documenting their clearly rather over optimistic and misguided campaign/challenge to become the first unsupported carbon neutral vegetarians to cross the arctic to the north pole. The characters are quite animated and the comedy is there, its mainly slapstick style and there's some strong language. The first half of the movie concentrates on getting to know the characters before they leave for their 'epic expedition' - not just the two main characters but also their respective partners and their radio fanatic friend Graham (played by Mark Benton, who's probably best known as the uh larger chap (in the stomach area lol) from The Full Monty). During this part of the movie, we learn a secret is being kept from one of the two characters, which gives us more of a reason to hope for the best for said character to return safely after their expedition. If your an overly analytical or critical movie watcher then it could be seen as fairly easy to guess the outcome of this film but then I don't think its necessarily a movie that you would want to sit and guess it all out ahead of time, if you know what I mean.
The comedy is there, I think the best word to describe it is quirky, this film is definitely quirky - the characters are interesting in a quirky sort of a way I suppose, although I feel like the film failed to make me particularly interested in the main character of Mark Bark Jones (yes the quirky name fits a pretty quirky guy - though in his case the 'quirkiness' is probably most noticeable by way of his almost delusions of grandeur and ocassional outbursts of aggression). There's not alot there in his character to really make you want to back him so to speak, I don't think anyway - though I suppose you can laugh at him for being a parody of the middle classes that have these grandeous ideas about 'bringing the peril of climate change to the masses, fighting the fight to protect our future generations' yadda yadda, you know the drill. I guess thats the point of the movie to be a parody and thus to make you think, to have a laugh at those who perhaps try to be a bit too over the top and preachy and I feel its a parody of, as I say, specifically the middle classes. I think my favourite character was Sandra, Brians partner, as she plays a very endearing lady, the one who has the big secret as it happens - she's the character that you'll probably feel most sorry for, all things considered and I quite liked her character overall. What let this movie down for me was the ending, which made me wonder what kind of a film this was really meant to be, as the movie becomes alot more serious, it tries to tie up some loose ends although really I felt rather awkward given the story and the tone by which it ended. It just made me wonder, should I have taken this as a comedy or/and how much of a parody is this meant to be? it certainly seems to have quite a serious tone at the end, unless I missed something but it just doesn't really 'sit' with the rest of the movie.
There are some scenes which are a bit daft and possible not entirely necessary and there are one or two which make for uncomfortable viewing, the one that most comes to mind involving the shooting of a polar bear (though not much is seen but it could still be a bit distressing for some, I feel), so its worth baring that in mind. As I've mentioned previously, there is a fair amount of strong-ish language too, mainly in terms of the banter between Brian and Mark.
I felt that this was an average 'film'/show, it has some funny moments, its quite quirky and I guess you can say its something a bit different. I probably would've rated this slightly higher if it weren't for the ending which I wasn't keen on but thinking about how I felt as I watched the movie, I enjoyed it enough and didn't feel too bored or overly distracted away from the screen, so its not bad, it just is lacking a bit and so I think overall a three star rating is in order. This is about all I can think to add to this section really.
- Would I Recommend It? -
No, I don't think I would overly recommend this film, although I wouldn't say that its without any laughs or that its really poor, it just missed the mark for being particularly good I think, if that makes sense. I'm not sure there's alot I can say about this, depending on who you are, you might find this pretty poor or quite genius, it all depends, I suppose. I'm being quite indecisive this week it seems, yes I've noticed incase your wondering lol...
The film is quite quirky with perhaps somewhat comical characters in some ways and it does in a way poke fun of the trend for middle class people doing some sort of big adventure/expedition in the name of charity to bring a 'holy issue' to the foreground and also of documentaries in general I suppose and for that, its ok. There is some comedy but I just feel it was lacking that bit that stopped me from giving this a particularly good rating, there's something about it im not that sure about so im going for the three star and no, not specifically recommended route, so to speak.
As ever, thanks for reading my review, I hope you found it useful. Thanks for any and all rates and comments, this review was originally posted on Ciao UK.
Summary: a mockumentary thats a real mixed bag