Year Released: 2004
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 115 minutes
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Dead men tell no tales, and some tales about dead men shouldn’t be told. This is one of them. That sounds harsh, but at nearly two hours, “The Spirithunter” tries its hardest to make its audience as dead as its main character, Chris (Jonathan T. Floyd). We are saved, however, by some exceptional acting that is totally wasted in a story that is less exciting than an infomercial for artificial hair.
The story, which has some good ideas that unfortunately go nowhere, involves Chris trying to find his body in Limbo before the Spirithunter finds him. Along the way he meets an unusual cast of characters, including the very talented William Stanford Davis as Gabe, and has all sorts of strange run-ins that seem to make little sense. The people he meets, such as Gabe, may not be telling him the entire truth of his situation, either, and they may actually be doing him more harm than good. By the time all that is realized, however, we have lost most of our interest in Chris’ ultimate fate. And none of this is helped by horrible computer-generated effects that looked much better when they were originally done on the first PlayStation games.
The film’s real strength is its actors, who do a fantastic job despite the story; Floyd and Davis deserve a much better vehicle for their gifts. Floyd is perfect as the man who doesn’t quite know what is going on, and Davis makes his character thoroughly believable as a “spirit guide” who is hiding as much as he is revealing. “Wasted” never meant as much as it does here.
With a little polishing, this could have been a movie worth watching. Instead, it makes you want to see a film where Davis and Floyd can really shine. These two saved the movie from being a total failure, though, and writer/director David Weidner was lucky to have them.
Posted on November 22, 2004 in Reviews by Doug Brunell
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