Electric Man


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Electric Man
"The film's main problem is that it's a good 25 minute short padded out to an hour and a half."

Pssst - want to buy a comic? There's a reason they wear masks. The stigma attached to a love of comics and graphic novels is considerable, yet for many people they're the best thing in the world. Jazz and Wolf are two such people, and are living the dream, running a comic shop together in Edinburgh. The trouble is, sales haven't been great, and they're struggling to make ends meet. The discovery of a rare comic - issue one of Electric Man - could change everything. The trouble is, there are scary people looking for it.

Electric Man opens well, with a nicely presented comic colour palette and cleverly designed scenes that mimic the panels on a comic page. It has a nice central idea and well thought-out central characters as well as some appealingly drawn customers. Unfortunately, that's about as far as it goes. Whilst Toby Manley is adequate as Jazz, Mark McKirdy as Wolf never quite gets his timing right and sounds more like he's reciting his lines in an audition than actually acting. Love interest/femme fatale Lauren (Jennifer Ewing) is slightly better but, geek issues aside, struggles to convince as the most dazzling woman our hero has yet met. The bad guys (one of whom is, naturally, from Glasgow) veer between tedious 'grit' and pantomime histrionics.

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The film's main problem is that it's a good 25 minute short padded out to an hour and a half. Characters joke about how they can't understand all the twists and turns but it's not so much that they're dazzling as that they're pointless. There's a desperate lack of tension and it's hard to feel strongly enough about any of the characters (or their sought-after prize) to bother, especially when the ending is visible a mile off.

Many aspects of Electric Man show promise and it's always nice to see a film about a quirky community like this made by insiders, but it just doesn't have what it takes to reach a wider audience. Strictly for the fans.

Reviewed on: 24 Jan 2012
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Electric Man packshot
Two comic fans desperate to save their shop are delighted to find a rare first edition of Electric Man - but others are after it too.
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Director: David Barras

Writer: David Barras, Scott MacKay

Starring: Toby Manley, Mark McKirdy, Fish, Jennifer Ewing, Mark McDonnell

Year: 2011

Runtime: 98 minutes

Country: UK

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