Directed by: #AnthonyWright
Anthony Wright’s sequel to his own short film is another homage to his clearly beloved 80s action sci-fi movies. Samson (Simon Craig) threatens doom and destruction upon his next target, Future City. This means a call to arms for Future Cop (Rod Glenn) to be launched to Samson’s Megaship-01 by space pod in order to stop evil and restore peace –will he save his city in time, or is it fated to end in the year 2332 A.D.? With the help of Officer Mack (Chris Iddon) and a really cool gun, hopefully he’ll succeed.
The performances, whilst leaning entirely into buddy-cop genre clichés, had their own slice of personality mixed in. Future Cop’s introduction will have you laughing as Glenn moves and talks with an obvious Die Hard/The Terminator influence, but caricatured for comedic effect. Lingering shots leave pauses in dialogue that further that fun humour.
Well-choreographed fight scenes have a balanced touch of comedy, to keep the action equal to the 80s theatricality Wright utilises. The exaggerated movements and sound-effects don’t produce an eye-roll in the audience; nor do the tropey-statements such as ‘time to take out the trash!’ before throwing a punch. This film is obviously a love letter to those iconic moments, inducing a familiarity in the audience. No one here is trying to make a twist on the genre or create something ‘new’, but instead create a nostalgic journey that’s surprisingly thorough and has a lot of effort put in.
The effort pays off as the props, costumes, and miniatures are made with such a skill that they don’t fall into the crafty/homemade category, but it still keeps a feeling of personal love that you can lose with digital effects or huge-budget action thrillers. The director had his own hand in creating the props, and the Megaship that was made from just a leaf blower and household objects looks meticulously detailed and well-made against a projection of space (no green-screen here!). Again, though, it still has that look that old-school practical effects have; fun, thorough, and with an obvious passion for the project by the artist.
That look is the same of the miniature build of Future City, which makes you do a double-take. When you realise it’s ‘homemade’, you get a happy sense of comfort and understanding that the people involved in this project were both skilled at their niche and having fun with everything. It makes the viewer feel involved with the film, which is most definitely the best part of Future Cop 2.
The plot itself isn’t as memorable as the practical effects or performances, as the substance is held within those elements. The atmosphere could have been placed on top of a different plot and it still would have worked. The essence is captured in the aesthetic, but for a short film with many great features – brilliant set design, fantastic costumes, skilfully-made props (wait until you see the brain jar) – this doesn’t mean it’s bad. This is a film to watch if you have a similar appreciation for 80s action sci-fi that Wright clearly does.