Being filmed in several shore towns in Cape May County, NJ. See more »
Running Back to You
Written by Melanie Marod
Performed by Melanie Marod
Courtesy of ITI Records See more »
Neo-Noir fans can find much to admire, and much to be angry with here.
At the time of writing, Wetlands has only two amateur reviews on site, something which on first glance paints a damning picture. Yet purveyors of film noir and its kindred spirits should at the least take a look at this grim portrayal of lost souls functioning in Atlantic City all while a devilish storm heads towards them.
Plot is by the numbers from the noir 101 playbook. Police officer (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) is a recovering addict who battles his past demons whilst trying to save his loved ones from unlawful scumbags. And that's pretty much it, the impending storm is a sort of metaphor for the turmoil going on in the lives of everyone involved in the story. The script is hardly high quality either, and anyone looking for an emotional investment in the characters will eventually start throwing objects at the screen. Yet rewards are here for fans of the noir form.
Characterisations are pungent with a bleakness that holds court. Corruption, sexual kinks, addictions, infidelity, dark deeds, bohemian excess, sexual blackmail, and on it goes. That these black thunders jostle with our chief protagonist's honourable intentions makes for compelling viewing for those in the frame of mind for genre bulldozing.
Then there's Barry Markowitz' cinematography. The film is big on atmosphere as opposed to physical action, and Markowitz' photography is a key player. If it's not turning down the filters for grim texture, it's offering up pronounced primaries for a magnetic beauty that offers up hope in what seems to be a forlorn venture, very haunting in its beauty. Great work in a strong decade for neo-noir photography.
However, it's not a very good film by any stretch of the imagination, the performances are very uneven, and as the script and plotting screams for better thought, the resolution also comes off as rushed and unfulfilling. But it's no dead loss, and enough here for noir heads to savour. 6.5/10
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