TL;DR – It explores what happens when a hitman’s work and life collide
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
The hitman is a character that has been around as long as cinema has been a medium. Sometimes they are the bogeyman lurking in the shadows, sometimes they are a threat to contend with in running gun battles, and sometimes you kill the wrong person’s dog and you forfeit your life. One area that does not get as explored as much as it should is what happens when the hitman goes home and how does that affect their lives. How can you kill people by day and go home to your family at night and what happens if those worlds collide together? Well, today we look at a film that explores this intersection with Chase.
So to set the scene, we open in as Chase (Damien Puckler) and his best friend who is also his sort of boss Miles (Aries Spears). Chase and Miles have been inseparable since they were 15 and ran off from foster care together. Miles is the boss and always seems to be in the position to manipulate the people around him and Chase is his best hitman. Chase has a simple system, he has a flat rate, double for women, and triple for kids and his only rules that he is paid in full up front, he not a repeat service so you will never see him again, and that he does not leave orphans. Chase has been living that life for a long time but in recent years he has found two attachments, his girlfriend Blair (Jessica Morris) and their child Micah (Eli Michael Kaplan). However, while Chase is good at compartmentalising, Miles thinks he is going soft and well as you can imagine this is a recipe for disaster.
the outset, Chase is here to put you immediately
into this world and the characters that inhabit it, while also reinforcing that
those characteristics are not the best people in the world. The first
conversation that you hear is about how someone should engage with a relationship
with women and then immediately leave post-coitus, and not in those words.
Indeed, bar maybe Blair and Micha there are not really any characters that are
actually likable in any way really. A lot of this is by design, because sure it
is clear that Miles has trouble letting go, so you need to sell that. But even
our hero/antihero/protagonist is someone who makes it clear that he will kill
kids (but not leave them orphaned with is a weird distinction) for a price and
at the very least he has no qualms about killing good people and then lying
about it. This creates an interesting situation where you are backing Chase
mostly because he is the least awful out of a number of bad options.
One of the interesting things about the film is that a lot of the dialogue is presented as an inner monologue of Chase as he narrates the world around him. This is a good way to get into his mind and see the world through his eyes, as well as being a vehicle to give out some exposition, okay a lot of exposition. While this can get a little overbearing at times, the sections where he is narrating do work better than other parts of the film where they have to give exposition through dialogue. When it boils down to it, this is a battle between two forces, Miles and Chase but also a battle between family and work. When the film is focusing on those battles, with the pre-existing relationships at play then it has some really strong moments. A lot of this is because Damien Puckler is a really commanding presence in the film, and I completely didn’t recognise him until the end credits.
the film does not quite work as well as in some of the technical moments where
it feels like the film was held back a little bit because of the budget. A
couple of the action scenes were just missing that level of quality when it
came to things like the sound mixing and effects that make each of those
impacts really hit. As well as this, I know the dialogue is going to be a
struggle for some people because the film really likes using the N-word a lot.
Finally, one of the undercurrents of the film was addiction, namely Chase’s
addiction to killing people and Miles’ addiction to have Chase stay in the same
relationship with him. This was a really interesting concept, but it only felt
like it was properly explored right at the end of the film and it would have
been better if it had been developed throughout a bit more.
In the end, do we recommend Chase? Well yes and no. I think the subject material and some of the language they use will be a barrier for some people and an understandable one. However, for me, there were moments in the film that were really good and I think that the ending really brought everything into focus.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow
Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV,
he’ll be talking about International Relations,
or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Chase
Directed by – Michael Matteo Rossi
Written by – Michael Matteo Rossi
Music by – Salil Bhayani
Cinematography by – Jason Weary
Edited by – Gehrig Burnett Jr.
Production/Distribution Companies – Vertical Entertainment
Starring – Damien Puckler, Jessica Morris, Aries Spears, Eli Michael Kaplan, Harry Hains, Skye Townsend, Devanny Pinn, Rachel Alig, Paul Duke, Simeon Panda, Joaquin Garay III, Oghenekaro Itene, Richard Riehle, Felix Martinsson & Freddie Webster
Rating – Around an Australia: MA15+