Dragging my work-weary body to Newmarket to watch a Kiwi flick I'd heard little about was unlikely to be an afternoon delight. However, editors will have their way and mine was right on the money.
The Fall Guys may not prove a Kiwi cinema classic, but it offers sound camera work, fair acting and a well-crafted, engaging narrative with a healthy dose of twists.
The independent comedy/crime caper follows three wanna-be criminals with quite a tale to tell to police about cases of heroin that "accidently" fell into their possession.
Made by Howick's own Scott Boswell and Rhys Cain, it's not an essential exploration of Kiwi culture, and nor does it pretend to be, but I would say it is essential viewing.
American and British influences are strongly felt - I couldn't help drawing comparisons to The Usual Suspects and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. However, with comparatively few New Zealand flicks of this genre on which to draw, such influences would be unavoidable.
When Howick and Pakuranga Times journalist, Daniel Silverton, spoke to the pair prior to an advanced screening, Scott said: "The film [Quentitn] Tarantino would make if he was born in Auckland...a twisted, balls-to-the-wall gangster flick with blood, broken legs and witty dialogue."
That's probably a long bow to draw; unfortunately, if Tarantino was born in Howick, odds are he'd be working the popcorn machine instead. No dig at my home town intended, it's just that this film had me wondering if cultural cringe is still alive in the suburbs.
Without budgets and enough moneymen taking a risk backing home-grown efforts rather than bashing out the same old tunes, and unacceptable proportion of talent spat out by Kiwi film schools seems destined to fall to the sidewalk...I mean pavement!
It's also a pity that local picture houses - such as the Monterey, whose original site is visible during a scene shot at All Saints Church in Howick - and the mainstream moguls, didn't offer these filmmakers the chance to show this movie in their home town. Well done Rialto.
Fortunately, there are still Kiwi filmmakers who damn the torpedoes and play for the love of the game, as evidenced by Scott and Rhys.
As mentioned earlier, The Fall Guys is unlikely to be considered essential in the develpment of our film culture, but I'd encourage every Kiwi (particularly Howickians) to see it; it's the only way we'll see more of our stories on screen.
Pride may come before a 'fall', but maybe we need a little more pride in who we are and where we come from, if we're ever going to make filmmaking truly viable in New Zealand.