The Exigency film review

★★★

Directed by: #CodyVibbart

Written by: #CodyVibbart

Starring: #TomHaney, #AlexisDanner, #WarrenHalderman, #KaylaVibbart, #DillonVibbart, #KeithTodd

Film Review by: Darren Tilby



The Exigency is an odd sort of film, one that’s fundamentally poor in so many ways. The CGI is dire, in almost every way (a problem for an animated movie), and the dialogue stinks of cheese. It’s impossible to pretend that these aspects of the film aren’t terribly bothersome—because they are. And yet, I can’t bring myself to hate it. In fact, I don’t particularly dislike it, even. Because, when viewed in a certain way, there’s something quite charming and endearing about it all. Let me explain…


Writer/Director Cody Vibbart began work on Exigency in 2006. An amateur filmmaker and animator, working alone and learning both trades as he went along, it would be another 12-years before this particular piece of work was finished. It’s a labour of love then, one Vibbart himself knows has plenty of faults – “The graphics are outdated and amateurish, but that’s okay. I’m more interested in telling a story that is fun rather than getting everything to be perfect...with literally no budget, this is the only medium I could tell this story through.”


It’s hard not to have respect for someone who’s this honest and candid; one who owns the failings of his work and the mistakes he’s made.


The story in question is a fairly straightforward affair: Kyle (Tom Haney), an alien General from the planet Gallesha, has fled to Earth to escape his past. Having lived on Earth for some time, Kyle hs settled well and is now married with two children. But, seemingly out of the blue, he’s attacked by spaceships from another planet (Anumbis, who are at war with Gallesha) in an attempt on his life. Not long after, a Galleshian ship arrives and rescues Kyle and his family; taking them to Gallesha, where the useless and bumbling King Sargon (Dillon Vibbart) wants him to lead the Galleshian army once again.


So the story isn’t very original, nor is it terribly exciting. It’s typical Hollywood action movie nonsense, much like the film’s script and dialogue delivery. But, in all fairness, it’s well-told and flows quite well. Although, the film could happily lose 20-minutes off its runtime with a little tidying up. The voice acting is...fine. Nothing more, nothing less. And, as I’ve already mentioned, the CGI is pretty awful (something Vibbart addresses on his blog, which is well worth a read), with the characters looking…well, horrifying.


However, it’s not all bad.


There are some amusing moments in the film – some intentional, some not – and the Leslie Nielsen like deadpan humour works well here. Also, and in spite of the outdated CGI, the landscapes and vistas around the characters themselves are acceptable, and Vibbart’s knack for world-building is actually really impressive. As soon as we’re introduced to the planet of Gallesha, I found myself genuinely enjoying my time there and wanted to know more about it. This is where Vibbart’s real strength lays; he’s a visionary...albeit without a budget.


I like to think of this film as a satirical take on the big-budget Hollywood action movie; a lambasting of decades worth of tropes. And, with its unashamed use of action movie clichés, dialogue, and over-the-top nature, this may well be the case. But ultimately, that’s for you to decide. In the end, The Exigency never takes itself too seriously, so you shouldn’t either. And, with a sequel in the works, I’m interested to see if Vibbart does indeed learn from his past experiences. Because, as he himself says “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”