Neon City(1991)

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directed by:Monte Markham

cast:Michael IronsideVanityLyle Alzado

Επιστροφή στην ημερησία διάταξη με ένα Hit n’ miss μεταχρονολογημένο post-apocalypse.

Το “Neon City” είναι καλογυρισμένο,γεμάτο αντιήρωες,παρίες της Νέας Τάξης Πραγμάτων,αλλά στην προσπάθεια του να δείξει ατμοσφαιρικό και δυσοίωνο,καταφεύγει στην επανάληψη και αναπόφευκτα κουράζει.

Η σκηνοθεσία του Monte Markham και οι αξιοπρεπέστατες ερμηνείες των ηθοποιών έχουν όλη την καλή προαίρεση να ανυψώσουν το φίλμ πάνω από το επίπεδο του τυπικού B-movie,αλλά ποιόν πάνε να ξεγελάσουν…Όπως ένα ετοιμόρροπο κτίριο δεν σώζεται με τσιμεντοενέσεις έτσι και το “Neon City” δεν μπορεί να ξεφύγει από το πεπρωμένο του,αυτό του φτηνού υποκατάστατου γνωστότερων ταινιών.(“Mad Max”,”Escape from New York”)Τι κι αν ο μπλαζε Michael Ironside βάζει τα δυνατά του,το αποτέλεσμα είναι ένα:Συμπαθής μετριότητα…

Πληθωρικοί όντες,οι οπαδοί του sci-fi/post-apocalypse σαν το γράφοντα,έχουν αποδείξει πως δεν χαμπαριάζουν από τέτοια.Έχουμε δει και χειρότερα,είδαμε και αυτό…

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In the year 2053, the earth has been devastated by a military experiment gone awry. The ozone layer is gone, radioactive and unpredictable, intense bursts of ultra-violet sunlight (called “brights”) incinerate anyone caught outside. In these conditions, a group of travelers are trying to get from the frontier town of Jericho to the paradise safe haven of Neon City: A doctor named Tom, an old man with a mysterious past, a prostitute, a spoiled rich girl, an untalented comedian, and a bounty hunter named Stark with his valuable prisoner Reno. They board an armored truck converted into a passenger transport driven by an ex-convict named Bulk. Along they way, the travelers deal with passing though radioactive Xander clouds, 150F degrees of “brights”, unstable paved roads, and nomadic motorcycle riders who kill anyone venturing though their territory. During the journey, few, if any, of the passengers turn out to be what they initially appear.

Uneven but well-filmed.”Neon City” is a difficult case.The quality of the cinematography and the performances seem to push the envelope,but the script suffers from several B-movie styled flaws(repetition,slow pace,run-of-the mill antiheroes),hence the film becomes a rather tedious affair,since it doesn’t go straight for the jugular,but it tries to tell a story instead.However,the narrative is disjointed and the film balances on a tightrope.Fortunately it doesn’t jump to its doom.

Nevertheless,this confusion gets boring after a point…and it leads the viewer to assume that the film could definitely benefit from being a  little bit shorter and more polished around the edges.

But we can always lean back and enjoy the cool cinematography,the slick set-pieces,the adequate direction and the good performances.

Post-apocalypse completists should try to track down a copy of “Neon City”…

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