Desmond, Gideon, and Rupert are three friends who are planning to rob the bank that Desmond works at. Desmond is the inside man, working at the bank and figuring out what they need to do to make sure the plan goes right. Gideon is the dreamer of the three who envisions the heist as his own personal movie and actually wrote a screenplay to use as their heist plans. Rupert is the muscle and also sports a British accent.
Plans for the heist start to go wrong thanks to Desmond. Desmond is an artist and receives two opportunities the week of the heist – a chance to get his artwork shown in an exhibit in New York City and a job opportunity working for the father of his girlfriend Julie.
When I sat down to watch A New Wave I was prepared for a low budget movie with a fun sounding premise. What I got was a mean spirited film that really possesses little in the way of redeeming qualities. The movie’s title refers to director Jason Carvey’s admiration of the French New Wave. With many influences including Jean-Luc Godard, Carvey set out to make a movie that would be his homage to the movies of the 1950’s such as Breathless. Despite a decent script, he failed more often then he succeeded.
While low budget movies deserve more of a break then a movie with millions of dollars at its disposal, A New Wave does not get that break because its problems have nothing to do with the budget of the film. A New Wave appears to want to be “Clerks meets Reservoir Dogs” but fails to be as interesting as either of those movies. While Clerks has Kevin Smith’s unique voice in the crisp and interesting dialogue, A New Wave just seems to have uninteresting people talking about uninteresting things. The conversations skip through questionable banking practices, the merits of art, the dangers of housing developments overrunning America and critics failing to recognize true art. The talking is there just to try to seem cool. It fails.
The biggest problem with the movie, and why the dialogue seems to fall flat, is a result of the horrible acting. Andrew Keegan is horrible in this movie. I don’t know much about him except that he was one of the stars of 7th Heaven and actually appeared in eight episodes of Party of Five with Lacey Chabert. The guy really does not deliver the goods in this movie. He is completely unbelievable as the film’s lead and is horribly inept conveying emotion. You really do not care about him in the movie, a huge problem since he is the person you are supposed to be cheering for. Chabert, as his love interest, is almost as bad. The two leads have zero chemistry and the scenes they share are so unbelievable that they bring the movie crashing down all by themselves.
Dean Edwards is pretty annoying as well. Think Don Cheadle from Oceans Eleven and make him more annoying and less amusing. He seems to only live in the movie to give it a link to the Oceans heist movies but it simply annoys. More amusing, but still annoying is Wass M. Stevens as the French gun dealer/art lover.
The one redeeming factor is John Krasinski. The Office co-star is pretty good in his role as the cinephile who studies movies endlessly in his endeavor to create the perfect heist. Of all the leads, it is his character that seems to be the most real. He shows the only real acting talent of all the leads. William Sadler gives a decent performance as the father of Chabert’s character, but his lines seem to be just another attempt to have cool dialogue that comes across bland. With conversations based around the dangers of adding Equal to your coffee, the lack of difference between movies and real life, and comparisons of their heist to fighting against the war overseas, you need to have better actors to make the dialogue seem real.
Scenes that were meant to be edgy and cool were simply excuses to rip off better movies that already did it better. The montage scene involving a strange, trippy dance sequence intercut with a scary and unnecessary mugging and robbery may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but came across as plain wrong. The ending of the movie was also not what I expected, and while the filmmakers may have believed it made it worthwhile, I just felt let down and disappointed. A bad ending to a bad movie.
The French New Wave is known for improvised dialogue and strange camera shots, but even if you are a staunch fan of that style of filmmaking, I don’t think this movie gives you anything unique to make it worth your time.
First off, a word on the look of the film. It is ugly. Plain and simple, the movie is shot in a dull, uninspiring tone that really shows a lack of care towards the colors and hues of the picture. The costuming is ugly, drab shades that tend to blend with the understated backgrounds. The entire movie looks dull. While this may be an aspect of the French New Wave, it makes the movie ugly and monotone. With shots framed out of focus, I had to check more than once to make sure my TV was set to widescreen. The DVDs transfer is meaningless here as the movie just was not made to look good. It was shot at 16:9.
The sound was stereo and while the music was loud, the dialogue seemed to be recorded in a vacuum. With a dull look and poor sound, the movie really has nothing going for it in the transfer department.
Extras include a music video, extended scenes that just proved the witless dialogue of the film could have been much worse, outtakes of the guys goofing around, a trailer for this film, and a trailer gallery that included a few movies I think I would have rather seen than this one.