Sunday, 13 March 2011

Paintball (2009).

Have you ever seen footage of paintball games? People who all look pretty similar shooting at a team of other people who all look pretty similar, that’s what I recall seeing.

So I’d think that if you were going to make a film involving a game of paintball that’s gone horribly awry you would probably want to get some memorable characters in the mix, some moments that the viewer can invest in as the tension grows and some great death scenes.

Alternatively, if you’re director Daniel Benmayor or writer Mario Schoendorff, you may decide that you want none of those things and instead populate your movie with a lot of irritating folk who do absolutely nothing to establish themselves as individuals (Jennifer Matter being the one exception, arguably just by being given enough screentime). Then have most of the main death scenes filmed through a thermal imaging camera so that all viewers end up seeing is a mix of white, grey and black depicting death scenes far tamer than most seen nowadays on any of the major gaming platforms.

I would say that all of these failings let the movie down and that it’s a shame to ruin such potential and . . . . . . so on and so on . . . . . . . . but I’d be lying.

Paintball gets into the thick of the action quite quickly but that action turns out to be highly derivative and unexciting. The whole thing is one big wasted premise thanks to a lack of thought, originality and care. One or two moments still manage to do just enough to impress (one death involving mines was particularly inventive though, yet again, annoyingly shown through the thermal imaging camera) but the overall outcome is something that doesn’t even satisfy on a simple, “brain switched to off position”, level. 


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