Release Date: September 16th, 2005
The Cast: Xander Berkeley, Tom Bower, Robert Knott
Directed by Robert M. Young.
BASIC PREMISE: Dobbitt (Knott) is a new worker in a factory who competes with Hanrahan (Berkeley), a fellow worker, while dealing with Merkin (Bower), his arrogant boss.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Combining amazing CGI effects with live action, this film is full of pleasant surprises. The three main characters are very quirky and strange, yet they are often funny. Each actor gives a convincing performance, although Bower really stands out as the smarmy Merkin. The first scene is very similar to the scene in Austin Powers after Austin is awoken from being cryogenically frozen. In this scene, Dobbitt goes through a ramp where is physically tested to make sure he is fit for the job. His initial interaction with his boss is very off-beat, but full of humor and wit. The script is so well-written, that every scene has an off-beat rhythm. There are many inventive scenes, especially when Dobbitt points out strange creature-like machines that are coming closer to the factory and might pose a dangerous threat. The plot is vaguely similar to Office Space only because it is primarily about office relations and behavior. This film manages to entertain by being consistently bizarre and purposefully absurd like Being John Malkovich. Even the character's names are strange and even other-worldly. It is very fun to try to compare this made-up factory workplace to a real workplace. The similarities are there, but the real trick is to find them among all the CGI fantasy elements and absurdity.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: This film's basic message is that the factory workplaces often dehumanize the average factory worker. It is a cold, mechanic, mundane, lifeless place to be. Throughout this film, the factory is so dark and murky that it looks like hell. Merkin is a very corrupt boss, which implies that power is also corruptive. He doesn't care who he hurts or dehumanizes--as long as he keeps his job, he thinks he is happy. The only way for Dobbitt and Hanrahan to escape from this drone-like, mundane job is to simply quit even if it appears to be a sign of weakness. There is simply no hope or joy working in a dull place no matter how decent the pay is.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
THE BOTTOM LINE: A truly bizarre satire with absurd, dry humor and wildly imaginative CGI effects. A heavenly combination of Being John Malkovich and Office Space!
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "H" Menu