Friday, August 19, 2005

Nowhere Man (McCann, 2005)

For a film about a man that gets his penis severed in his sleep after getting into a nasty argument with his wife about her secret history in porn, Tim McCann's Nowhere Man steers surprisingly clear of excessive sexual content and graphic violence. Perhaps even more unexpected is the way the film mostly avoids the inherent humor of this absurd situation, opting instead to play it straight with characters that threaten and intimidate each other as if they thought they were in a Scorsese film. Imagine if you will a modern revision of Rudolph Maté's 1950 film-noir D.O.A., except that the protagonist isn't rushing around town to solve his own murder -- he's rushing around town, trying to find his wife who has absconded with his 'little buddy' in the hopes that it might be re-attached. ("We can rebuild him. We have the technology.") The acting ranges from good to awful, with Frank Olivier as Daddy Mac being the clear weak link -- no one will confuse Frank with Laurence. Indeed most of his dialogue borders on unintelligible. I could try to glean some symbolic meaning from a film that features a castrated white man cuckolded by a black porn star whose film posters make rather impressive claims about his endowment, but I don't really think that the film earns that kind of analysis. As a director and a writer, McCann shows some promise, but he just misses way too many opportunites here to be able to recommend this film.



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