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Tuesday 7 January 2014

Burl reviews Sightseers! (2012)

Eh wot? wot? Cor, it’s Burl! Ha ha, yes, it’s me here with a review of a British picture for you, and a rather new one it is too! It’s a picture called Sightseers, a murder-comedy from the fellow who made the excellent Kill List! That one made me feel so bad I didn’t even review it for you, though I may yet make an attempt! But of course, his newer picture is a delightful laff-massacre, ha ha!
It’s not actually that delightful, because it trades heavily in not just bloody murder, but also the kind of social friction and awkwardness this director and many of his countryfellows, seem to revel in! There’s a nasty, dingy edge to it all too, a sort of repeated eye-poking that might, in less skilled hands, seem rather juvenile!
None of these things are necessarily criticisms, ha ha! It’s more a matter of taste, really! I’ll fill you in on the story: a plane-Jane named Tina is setting off with her boyfriend of three months, the bald-n-bearded Chris, on a camper vacation of Blighty tourist traps! The early scenes of the picture involve Tina and her old mum, who for my money is the best and funniest actor in the picture! There was more of her than I’d have expected, but I still wished there was even more!
The bulk of the story is Chris getting into little contretempses with people, then killing them, because after all he’s a homicidal maniac! The bulk of the jokes are how blandly Tina reacts to this, and the arc of the story is that she comes to enjoy the killing, and eventually proves much more devoted to it than Chris! Just about everyone they encounter, in the meantime, becomes their victim!
All of this is filmed in high style, though not in a garish Natural Born Killers sort of way! It reminded me of a more kill-crazed version of Prince Avalanche – largely a two-hander, simply shot for the most part, punctuated by beautifully composed shots of natural beauty! Ben Wheatley – the director, that is – is able to work up a really unique bad-time tone in his pictures, and though this one isn’t as accomplished on any level as Kill List was (though it’s funnier than Kill List, ha ha!), it’s still pretty recognizable as the same fellow’s work! I’m looking forward to seeing his next one, A Field in England!
Sightseers isn’t exactly the greatest thing since micturée, but it’s well done and amusing – and of course, it’s a recreational vehicle picture, which gets it extra points from ol’ Burl! (That barely helped out Alien Predators, though, ha ha!) I’m going to give Sightseers two big pencils!

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