Directed by Paddy Murphy
Starring Stephen Tubridy, Brian Russo Clancy, Fiach Kunz, Mikey Casey, Conor Hayes
Short Film Review by Jack Gibbs
There are many cases in the history of film of movies big and small aiming high and falling short – Legacy Point, from Celtic Badger Media, is one such.
The film posits a scenario that is gripping, at first – in the not-too-distant future a surgical method of backing up memories has been devised, involving the use of USB sticks and having nasty side-effects should the memories not be transferred back into their brain. Aaron (Stephen Tubridy) undergoes such surgery to preserve a memory he calls his ‘legacy point’, only to become the victim of theft, and takes it upon himself to enact vigilante justice upon the perpetrators.
It is a nice concept, one that is ripe for exploration, but tragically the scant 15-minute running time does little justice to the idea. Limitations are understandable, but aside from featuring in a small handful of scenes the most interesting element of this premise ultimately ends up being the most interchangeable. With the futuristic bent left mostly unexplored, a sign that the film could have benefited greatly from just a few more minutes of time, the end result is little more than a plain and
The cornerstone of any action film is, naturally, the action that serves as the centrepiece, but the fisticuffs on display ends up suffering due to different factors. The action scenes are not poor, but they are the victim of incredibly haphazard editing, particularly prominent in the group fight sequence. The camera hurls you from shot to shot in a flurry of cuts, and the most violent aspects of the action – finishing blows, gunshots and all else besides – generally take place off-screen. It’s hardly evocative of, say, Bay at his worst, but it is still disorienting nevertheless.
It’s dark, grimy and looks brutal enough within budgetary constrains, but the flighty editing makes it feel soft, and the music used both helps and hinders. The score, consisting of clips sampled from a Nine Inch Nails album, is punchy where it counts but ends up becoming repetitive. The industrial percussion of NIN’s tracks suits the overall grungy, gritty tone of the action sequences, but it wears on the ears. Aside from a piano sample, also from the same band, the soundtrack is at a minimum. Never intrusive, and admittedly fitting, but a sprinkling of slightly more diverse samples would have helped to prevent monotony.
On top of that, the performances are also either scattershot or mostly forgettable, with the exception of Tubridy who puts in an honest effort in portrayed a pained man desperately and violently searching for that which he treasures most. His experience in film – Legacy Point being his twentieth film with Celtic Badger – comes to the fore, packing in a lot of energy and raw emotion into a feature so short and a performance so brief, and he shines because of it. Aaron consequently ends up being the only real character in this, the only one with genuine humanity. Tubridy rolls with it, and makes for a good watch.
Memorable in an entirely different respect is Brian Russo Clancy as Garmin, whose attempts to emulate the affable yet sadistic nature of such outstanding villains as Heath Ledger’s Joker and Hopkins’ Lecter fall utterly short thanks to both the script and Clancy’s delivery – one moment he is engaging in excessively energetic mugging for the camera, and in the next he is attempting to lecture the protagonist on the ramifications of his actions despite having barely any connection to said protagonist – and far too little screen time to make the predicament he imposes upon Aaron have any true weight. But in any case, he may be the first villain in cinema to use a Rubik’s cube as a flashbang.
It’s a true mixed bag – a fine approach, but a lacklustre story, decently done action and frenzied camera work, one strong performance countered by several that are forgettable or try too hard. With all that in mind, Legacy Point is certainly decently made, but it sacrifices a compelling setup for a rather generic payoff. It won’t leave you suffering from brain rot – least of all if you’re into some good old-fashioned ultraviolence – but it will leave you wondering what might have been.