Freeze Frame

Freeze Frame


Reviewed by: Sobhano

I had a bad feeling from the beginning about this film. Maybe it was the title - hardly original. Maybe it was the Irish/British funding partnership. Maybe it was the presence of Lee Evans in the starring role. Having seen him only once before, in Mousehunt, I was not holding my breath for what appeared to be a dark thriller.

However, the lights dimmed and the Dolby Sensurround richly broadcasted itself with all the panache of a "proper" film. The opening titles followed the progress of the shaven-headed Sean Veil (Evans), waking up to another wretched day of his monotonous existence. We are also following his every move from a variety of CCTV cameras, split screens and fuzzy close-ups creating an intensely claustrophobic vision of the Orwellian underworld inhabited by Veil.

Copy picture

What we are led to believe - he is being monitored by unseen watchers - is quickly turned on its head as the plot unfolds. He believes that he has been falsely accused of a triple homicide and is convinced that the powers that be are out to pin the next one on him. To provide the perfect alibi, he has lived in virtual isolation, filming his every move continuously for the past 10 years.

Having established this (not entirely unoriginal) premise in the opening 10 minutes, the film collapses in on itself spectacularly. Once we move outside of Veil's self- imposed existence into the "real" world, we enter a more familiar one of bad British TV cop drama and self-indulgent displays of thespian waffle. The film's attempt to wind us into the intrigue with a haphazard series of twists, conspiracy theories and brutalistic cameos simply compounds its pretentious credentials.

The viewer is left to blithely speculate how much lottery money was thrown away on this particular British farrago, or why Evans is such an embarrassing screen presence when playing it straight. You wonder whether his on-screen perspiration is caused by fear that the audience will finally get the message that his acting stinks and he would be better taking his contorting frame back to the stand-up circuit, from which it came.

Worth a miss.

Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2004
Share this with others on...
Freeze Frame packshot
A murder suspect films himself 24/7 to give himself an alibi.
Amazon link

Read more Freeze Frame reviews:

David Haviland *

Director: John Simpson

Writer: John Simpson

Starring: Lee Evans, Rachel Stirling, Sean McGinley, Colin Salmon, Ian McNeice

Year: 2004

Runtime: 98 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK/Ireland


Search database:

If you like this, try: