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Thursday, October 11, 2018

JET TRASH -- DVD Review by Porfle

An interestingly novel crime drama, JET TRASH (Indican Pictures, 2016) takes place mainly on a beautiful beach front in Southern India with characters who are laidback beach bums just taking it easy.

Until, that is, the harsh reality of how they got there catches up with them.  At which point, to coin a phrase, life's a beach and then you die.

Lee (Robert Sheehan, MORTAL ENGINES) is the impulsive, irresponsible one who got himself and his more levelheaded friend Sol (Osy Ikhile, THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION) in serious trouble with the smalltime crime boss Marlowe (Craig Parkinson) they worked for back in England, forcing them to steal a hunk of Marlowe's dirty money and hightail it to their remote paradise.

When one of Marlowe's other employees, the lovely Vix (Sofia Boutella, THE MUMMY, STAR TREK BEYOND), suddenly shows up looking for them, warning buzzers go off in their heads and they start looking for their vengeful former boss to jump out at them with his cronies from behind every corner.  Eventually, of course, their fears are realized in a big, scary way.

Until then, Lee and Sol--along with their really weird ex-military friend Mike (Jasper Pääkkönen), who's now deep into monk-like spiritualism and agonized self-reflection--get into even more trouble when Lee's caught selling drugs (something local big-dog Shay frowns upon).

But that's nothing compared to when they accidentally run over a cow (the phrase "Holy cow!" comes to mind) and find themselves being rousted by Shay's goons and robbed of their nest egg.

The film has a pace as languid as its setting, yet the story gradually heats up as the boys' peril increases along with their own heated interpersonal conflicts (Sol's going nuts over Lee's constant irresponsible behavior, and Mike's just plain nuts).

Vix's arrival complicates things even further since it reignites the love affair that had started between her and Lee back in England, while he and Sol remain torn between trusting her and suspecting that she's still working for Marlowe.

Charles Henri Belleville's direction is eye-pleasing and stylishly dreamlike.  He seems to revel in filming practically every shot in a visually interesting way that contributes to the film's colorful, easy narrative flow and encourages the viewer to interpret what's happening instead of just passively observing.

The conflict between the pastoral concerns of the beachfront village and the ruthless mob violence that Marlowe brings with him from the outside world builds to a suspenseful conclusion.

Rather than relying on big action scenes (save for sort of a chase between a car and a motor scooter), the excitement comes from seeing characters we like in peril and watching them try to blunder their way out of it.

I thought it was going to be boring at first, with salty slackers Lee and Sol on the beach having what seemed like yet another "Royale  With Cheese"-inspired dialogue scene.  But give JET TRASH five or ten minutes, and, if you're like me, you'll find yourself drawn right into this easygoing crime story and sticking around till it plays itself out.

Tech Specs
Runtime: 85 minutes
Format: 1:78 HD
Sound: Dolby Sr 5.1
Country: USA
Language: English
Genre: Action


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