Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Leon Ford's GRIFF THE INVISIBLE opens: love & "superherodom" (superherodumb?)

A film so dunder-headed I felt compelled to tell its hard-working publicist that a theatrical release was ill-advised (how's that for chutzpah?!), GRIFF THE INVISIBLE turns out to be the biggest waste of time I have seen this year. Despite appealing perfor-mances from its two leads, Ryan Kanten (who was excellent in last years neo-western, revenge thriller Red Hill) and Maeve Dermody (new to me), the film clearly wants to be a delicate little love story that plays around with the current and by-now way-overdone superhero theme. But in its conception and execution it is very nearly brainless from the get-go.

From Kick-Ass to Super, we've had a number of other oddball superhero movies. What does this one, from actor-turned-writer/
director Leon Ford (shown, left) bring to the table? Griff marks Ford's first full-length endeavor, and his film would seem to be about growing up and facing real life. But no, instead it's about growing up and facing your fake life. Which is, I guess, more fun (but not, in this case, for viewers).

The movie offers us and our hero a crime wave that doesn't really exist (but gives him a reason to be super), invisibility (that isn't), and finally a non-super superhero. There' a parallel universe with a ridiculous explanation and the usual plot contrivance of an overheard conversation (only partially, in this case) that has a pointless and stupid result.

Though Kwanten (above) and Dermody (below) could make lovely music together, the movie itself in style and content is so unremittingly fey, twee and twat-ish that its unrelenting cuteness could curdle your milk.

There are evidently critics out there who have embraced the film (Vogue magazine's is one of these), so please take my nasty words as just another opinion. Yet I am flummoxed as to what this film is trying to tell us. Its very purpose would seem to be helping people stay deluded, while its characters are the reason we have mental institutions. Griff the Invisible is mind-boggling in the worst way.

The movie opens Friday, August 19, in New York City at the Village East Cinema in Los Angeles at the NuArt, and elsewhere. Click here to find cities, dates and theaters over the next month or two.

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