Directed by: #Meosha Bean
Written by: #Alan Delabie
There is something to be said for a low-budget US indie film that hosts a diverse cast, moves between American and European locations and features multilingual dialogue scenes, some in English, some in French. Anatomy of an Antihero: Redemption is the continuation of a Netflix series of the same brand, and features a largely similar cast of characters to the show. Viewers hoping to come from the series to the film and meet their favourite faces will no doubt be pleased.
But this being said, newcomers are going to be confused. Meosha Bean’s directorial work is a hectic and hyperactive syntax of scene-to-unrelated-scene, characters flung in along the way for good measure, and star actor Alan Delabie’s writing is littered with confusingly unannounced happenings. It is not always clear if the events of the film would be easier to understand with the context of the Netflix series, or if the plot-holes are as inexplicable even with this familiarity on the viewer’s side.
Fortunately, the neo-kitsch feeling of the film holds together many of its (highly) flawed aspects. The seams are clearly showing in scenes of amateurish composition, flat acting, and unoriginal camerawork. All of this is forgivable, and even adds to the very indie aesthetic. But the cardinal sin is the uneven sound design and poor ADR. Nothing removes the viewer so much as the sudden leaps or falls in volume.
The film is crowned by an impressive display of nunchuck wielding set to an electro-synth backing with inspirational flashbacks, but the fighting here is for display purposes only. No actual character-to-character combat occurs in this section.
However, the pinnacle fight scene takes place in the final act, in an industrial warehouse, and is impressively and fiercely choreographed. This is by far the strongest scene in the film, and the editing is of such a higher quality as to wonder whether the editor woke up especially for this scene alone.
After something of a curveball kiss-scene, the film ends in a montage that finishes with a confoundingly Christ-like shot. The protagonist is alone, crying blood on the city shore. Again, it remains to be seen if all of this is easier to understand within the context of the Netflix series.
For anyone not already familiar with show, this is a probable miss. For fans, it is surely a fun jaunt through a set of familiar and diversely cast characters, despite some-time cliches. Even fight-film enthusiasts may find something to enjoy here in some well-choreographed scenes. But overall, this is a decidedly not-for-everyone cup of tea.