Directed by: #AlexanderCooper
From first-time director Alexander Cooper comes Sandow, the story of a weak boy who seeks to become tough and overcompensates by headlining a travelling strongman show.
Sandow’s underlying story about a man who spends his life living for his father’s wishes, is one that has been told in lots of ways, many times before. The familiarity of that theme running throughout this movie is about the only aspect that rings true to an otherwise confused and unstable plot mixed with more issues than an indie film can get away with.
Cooper, also serving as a narrator in the form of Sandow’s protégé, Launceston Elliot, has devised the making of a solid film but failed to connect the dots in the final cut.
Too much of Sandow is difficult to watch – the training montage at the beginning, the unchoreographed fight scenes, Kervinen’s bland performance in the titular role, and the concentration on the rest of the cast’s faces as they try to remember their lines. The timeline is too jumbled as we are treated to the same scenes on repeat that restricts the film’s credibility as a captivating story.
To listen to it is far worse – Cooper’s narration as Elliot is distracting, the dialogue forced and uninspired rather than letting the spontaneity of a real conversation develop, and the sound editing is so poor that important parts of the film are completely inaudible.
The only person present who seems like they know what they are doing on a screen is Tiffany-Ellen Robinson as Sandow’s wife, Blanche, but her performance is limited by a muddled purpose.
The most compelling aspect of the story is the opening credits involving real footage of a boy wrestling a lion and some nice birds eye view shots of a stadium. This gives false hope that Sandow has a compelling and invigorating tale to follow, as the film immediately falters into sloppy storytelling thereafter.