Release Date: May 19th, 2006 (Village East Cinemas) by Artistic License Films.
The Cast: Ellen Page, Maxwell McCabe Lokos, Eric Thal, Natasha Wightman, Beatrice Brown, August Diehl, Diana Greenwood, Jefferson Guzman.
Directed by Alison Murray.
BASIC PREMISE: Sherry (Page), a rebellious teenager, joins a cult called Street People Armed with Radical Knowledge (a.k.a. SPARK).
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Ellen Page gives a decent performance as Sherry, but, unlike in Hard Candy, she doesn’t have a strong enough script to work with. The first act barely introduces Sherry as she wanders the streets of Berlin and quickly gets tempted into joining SPARK. This cult could have been interesting if it had a real agenda rather than just to unite the aimless young people, which include Tiger (Diehl), Mad Ax (Lokos), Nancy (Brown, Dog (Greenwood), and the leader named Harry (Thal). Once Sherry joins SPARK, not enough happens in terms of plot or character development to hold your attention. Sherry’s mother, Rose (Wightman), shows up in the second act to join the cult, but even that doesn’t add any real drama. It would have been much more engaging to include the threat of police from the world beyond this cult. What makes SPARK so special in the first place? Too many scenes simply drag from aimlessness and redundancy. Writer/director Alison Murray tries her best to bring out a somewhat realistic feel through the gritty cinematography, but, ultimately, it’s too difficult to connect with the unimaginative characters or to care about what will happen to any of them.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: A meandering plot with no real conflict or interesting characters.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 7
IN A NUTSHELL: Ellen Page gives a decent performance, but the unimaginative, aimless script about aimless characters simply fails to be engaging.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
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