For a minute there, I lost myself (I lost myyyyseeeeeeeelfffff…). Thought I was back in the nineties once again. There was Eric Roberts, there was a random team of elite mercenaries (with not so subtle a nod towards ex-Blackwater), there was a random shower scene with nude silicone blonde for whom you couldn’t tell just yet whether she’ll turn out to be a bad guy or someone’s love interest, there were Chechen terrorist dropping like flies and silly shit like that. There were bromances abundant, hostage extraction plot gone wrong and evil creature spurned up by Misguided Science running amok via vent pipes of Subterranean Laboratory and so on. It saddened me and made me happy at the same time.
Made me happy for a bit. Nineties are the nexus of nostalgia for me (you can’t just shrug off the time in which you grew up), and I was shamelessly enjoying myself the other day watching Escape Plan which was nothing less than 90s on the big screen once again. In this case, happiness lasted only for a moment. I mean, you could tell that Seal Patrol wasn’t the creature of the 90s. No director from that period (even from the B outlet of the industry) would allow himself to edit his movie like a music video with a porn movie sound and acting. There are standards, even in this niche. It saddened me even more that Mezzanatto and Rigle made this movie so serious, without even a subtlest hint of humor. Thing is, it wasn’t the silly plot that bothered me, it wasn’t the Predator all over again (though made outside of any context that made Predator what it is), it wasn’t the unsatisfactory revenge scene in the end. It was this seriousness that kept bugging me for a long time after end credits.
To make a “serious” 90s style B-movie in 2014. baffles me. Is there even a market for that type of thing? If there is, what does it consists of (in a related story, I’m even more baffled by existence of professional porn – who buys/rent DVD’s when there’s internet readily available with hundred thousands of clips?). As far as I can tell Seal Patrol can have some slight appeal to kids under the age of ten (this, of course, relies heavily on proposition that kids of today have at least comparable interests to the interests of our generation). Everybody else kinda grew tired of this (fans like myself last longer than most of people though we’re not without standards of our own which Seal Patrol doesn’t even comes close to). These plots, characters, machine-gun-porn elements and linear structure can work if you never seen them, and kids from the age of ten and under probably never did. Hey, you have to learn your genre vocabulary at some point. Still, even if kids are the target audience, on which planet do they buy their entertainment merchandise? Especially one that doesn’t have a billion dollars PR-crew attached to it. It’s understandable to a degree that modern kids won’t have any patience for old school genre classics. Being “old” in movies is a big no-no for kids. Still, if one has to speculate between amounts of happiness a random kid receives from being immersed into the world(s) of Call of Duty and from being immersed into a universe such as this, one can hardly think that Seal Patrol will be a winner there. From this perspective Seal Patrol is nothing but a bad investment. Either that or I-told-you-I-can-make-a-movie-just-like-that form a guy that liked this kind of movies when he was a kid. In any case, it is a failure. Revival of the nineties will, as my generation becomes older and older, eventually come. It will need far better authors than Nicolas Mezzanatto.
Director: Nicolas Mezzanatto
Script: Nicolas Mezzanatto, Joshua Ringle
Starring: Eric Roberts, Kristina Anapu, Tina Casciani, Jose Luis Cordovez, Josh Daugherty, Danny James, Rich McDonald, Will Newman
Producers: Brett Donowho, D. Allan Graham, Will Newman, Joshua Ringle
Music: Flipper Dalton
Editing: Laurens Van Charante
Studio: Quorum Entertainment, Red Production, Rogue Satellite Production, Tri-Fold Pictures