Posts Tagged ‘Got to Run’

There comes a time in a man’s life when he realises that some films he wants to see are going to slip through the net – well, it’s more like that there are numerous times when he’s reminded, really. Then again, there are some films that seem interesting but the expense involved is unjustifiable, mainly when the chief distinguishing feature of the film in question is that it’s complete and utter irredeemable cobblers from start to finish. One of the advantages of being a proper professional critic is that you get paid for watching films like that (but not enough, the likes of Kermode and Leigh would doubtless assure me).

 Enjoying what appears to be a tiny, tiny UK release at present is Got to Run, un film de Robbie Moffat, either one of Britain’s ‘premiere independent directors of low-budget films’ or ‘the UK’s answer to Ed Wood’ depending on who you listen to. I have not seen Got to Run and thus am not qualified to pass judgement on it. I have seen what passes for a trailer for the movie, which is quite jawdroppingly awful and technically inept (check it out on YouTube if you don’t believe me) but does seem to support the mainstream critical consensus.

The film is apparently the story of a lingerie saleswoman who’s unhappy with her life but is given a list of ten locations in the UK which, she is told, are good for jogging in. She duly goes forth and jogs and finds her life transformed. Hmmm. Doesn’t sound a million miles away from Roadkill, a low-budget Canadian movie I reviewed many, many years ago, but whereas Roadkill is quirky and moving and has a great central performance in it, Got to Run apparently spends most of its running-time (no pun intended) watching the main character jog around while an orchestra plays on the soundtrack. Certainly there is a lot of jogging in the trailer, more than I’d usually have liked, but in this case it meant there were fewer of the technically inept and appallingly badly-acted dialogue scenes that comprised the rest of it, so I was all for them.

Yes, I haven’t seen it. Good films have had bad trailers before. And critics are not infallible (and speaking as the guy who slated The Bourne Identity back in 2002, that’s an informed opinion). But let us just partake briefly of some of the critical bon mots that Got to Run has inspired. Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian weighs in with: ‘Watching it, I felt like screaming… technically simply unreleasable… Gobsmackingly dire…’ ViewLondon’s review offers ‘Staggeringly inept on every conceivable level…the standard of acting would shame a group of dyslexic non-actors gathering to read a script for the first time…A film so bad it makes all previous one-star films look like masterpieces by comparison.’ Time Out joins the chorus with ‘Technically horrible…it looks like a porn film without the sex.’

(Something is clearly wrong with me. Does anyone know a place where this film is showing within easy reach of Oxford?)

Well, so what, you say, it’s the summer and dreadful films are unleashed upon the world nearly every week, many of them without the excuse of having been made for no money to speak of. Hmm, well, you may have a point. However, what really piques my interest in the whole Got to Run saga is the doughty, nay, ferocious work carried out in its defence by someone who has opted to remain anonymous, but operates under the codename of ‘CultFollower’. Whenever a bad review of Got to Run has appeared on t’internet, CultFollower has been there sticking up for it, reposting highlights of the one and only positive review the film has apparently received, courtesy of the Morning Star (hmmm) and taking the critics to task for their lack of vision and insight.

 Time Out only receives a repost of the Star piece, praising Moffat’s ‘skill, wit, and elegance’ (it’s enough to make you ashamed to be socialist), while Pete Bradshaw gets the following advice from CultFollower – ‘go running and learn to enjoy movies or get a new job.’ ViewLondon are the real beneficiaries of the wisdom of CultFollower, though. The Morning Star review is reposted in its entirety (again) followed by these words of genius:

‘I loved everything about this movie. The Olympics are coming up and the reviewer hasn’t noticed that half of the country goes running.’ 

Crikey, jogging is now an Olympic event. They snuck that one in on the quiet. They still haven’t managed to get Snooker into the Olympics and now jogging’s in? Surely some mistake. And one’s breath is well and truly taken by the incisive logic present in the ‘half the country goes jogging = people will want to see a film mostly comprised of someone jogging’ assertion. More than half the country, I would guess, clean their teeth on a regular basis, so no doubt we can expect Moffat’s forthcoming opus Got to Brush. I wonder what CultFollower makes of the massive success of films like Iron Man and Harry Potter?

‘I’m completely mystified. Hardly anyone I know attends wizard school and battles the forces of darkness, or has built their own cybernetic battlesuit, and yet they still go to see films about these things. What is the world coming to?’

Am I being too harsh on CultFollower? To be honest I really believe he or she has brought it on themselves, quite simply by not having the wit to post under different names when defending the film on different sites. As a result opinion is quite widespread that CultFollower is Robbie Moffat himself, or some associated minion. Moffat and Palm Tree Entertainment are obviously, shall we say, utterly dedicated to promoting their work: on their website, Peter Bradshaw is quoted as saying of Got to Run, ‘Cult classic status beckons…’ – which is true enough, but the rest of the sentence (which has mysteriously vanished) runs ‘…for this film is awe-inspiringly bad.’

 Oh well. I’m actually slightly moved by CultFollower’s unstinting efforts to salvage the unsalvageable, for I can’t imagine anyone being taken in in the slightest, no matter how often they cut and paste that Star piece. But I must admit to be more amused than anything else. Will CultFollower be drawn here to work his or her very special magic in defence of Got to Run? I must confess my fingers are crossed.

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