It’s not hard to understand how SuperGrid got made. Following the resounding success of two (count them! two!) films in a universe called WolfCop, director Lowell Dean decided to make a different form of genre trash.
Synopsis: From the creators of WolfCop, and Another WolfCop, comes SuperGrid, the story of two estranged brothers, Jesse and Deke who must travel the notorious “Grid” to collect and deliver a mysterious cargo. The Grid is a highway running through post-apocalyptic Central Canada from the US Border to the Northwest Territories. Facing off with road pirates and car jackers, the brothers miss their drop-off and unleash a violent showdown with the crime syndicate at Black Lake, the last refuge of hope on the Grid. (Raven Banner Releasing)
Starring: Leo Fafard, Marshall Williams, Natalie Krill
Writers: Nick Chakwin and David Guglielmo
Directors: Nick Chakwin and David Guglielmo
Rating: 14A (Canada)
Running Time: 80mins
Maybe Dean was attempting to expand his horizons, but there was no need for him to inflect his experimentation on us. SuperGrid opens with two different scenes of lazy exposition, with one scene of poor world building shoved in between. It’s not as if this movie was doomed from the start, but more or less from the first shot, it was clear that this would be a long 80 minutes.
The first scene of world building is the one that sets the tone. As we follow our (might as well be nameless) lead character, Jesse (Fafard), as he walks towards a bar, the world that’s presented couldn’t feel less real. SuperGrid immediately presents itself as ugly, edgy look at the future, but it’s far from grounded in anything real, and can’t play up it’s silliness. It’s stuck in the middle, only perpetuated by it’s ugly, edgy cinematography which slowly hurts your eyes the more you make your way through the film. The scene following has the best part of the film, a lived in performance by Jonathan Cherry as Lazio, a crime boss who forces Jesse, to make his way back for one more mission into a barren wasteland.
Sorry if you’ve feel like you’ve heard this one before, but you most likely have, considering how nondescript and vague the entire movie feels. For one, the conflicts here are so deeply integrated into sci-fi culture, that it feels so funny to see a burning school bus in one of the inserted shots of a barren wasteland. These scenes look like they were shot in a field in southern Nebraska, with poorly made props scattered around. Different heaps of nonsense are served at every corner when it comes to film’s subplots, such as road pirates, rebel gangs, and of course, some classic brother on brother conflict. That’s right, Jesse brings his brother along on his quest, which we still don’t really know the purpose of.
Whenever the film falls into laughable territory, it’s the most exciting part of watching. The most humorous parts are easy to list, from the the heavy and dark music, to the set design that looks like it was bought exclusively from a dollar store, it can only be enjoyable when these parts happen. The film only gets worse when it hangs its head, as being aware of the flaws it holds, but still, just pushes through them, like a drunk who decided to go for a jog. The funniest problems, such as horrible line delivery from different extras, or lead cast members who seem to flub lines, only seem to pop up to keep you awake.
Ineptitude can always come from a worse place though. While SuperGrid is one of the worst films of the year, at least it isn’t coming from a malicious place. In the final moments of the film, under a swell of dramatic music, a shot of grass blowing in the wind appears. A combination of exhaustion and disdain for the film led to a belly laugh at the though of it. If only the rest of this film could have been as entertaining as those blades of grass.
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