TIFF 2016 Movie Review: HELLO DESTROYER (Canada 2016)

Movie Reviews of films that will be playing at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) in 2016. Go to TIFF 2016 Movie Reviews and read reviews of films showing at the festival.

hello_destroyer_poster.jpgHELLO DESTROYER (Canada 2016) **
Directed by Kevan Funk

Starring: Sara Canning, Ian Tracey, Paul McGillion

Review by Gilbert Seah

Like 1970’s SCORE: A HOCKEY MUSICAL the Canadian feature that opened TIFF years back HELLO DESTROYER condemns the violence in the sport of hockey. Unfortunately, good intentions aside, both are terrible films.

The film centres on a new recruit for the minor league Prince George Warriors, Tyson Burr (Jared Abrahamson), a grinder whose primary task is digging the puck out of corners and protecting more skilled players. Tyson is painfully shy and inarticulate, the result of growing up with a dismissive and impatient father — and being raised in a world that places little value on emotional development.

When Tyson punches out an opponent resulting in severe injury, he is slowly ostracized by everyone. A lot of scenes in the film are shot in extreme close-up (like the fights and the shower scene) so that what is happening can hardly be seen. If only director Funk would pull back his camera more often to show the entire picture.

The film is hardly lit, so that the faces of all the characters in most of the scenes can hardly be seen except in the shadows. The dialogue is mostly pure ranting, if not gibberish and when articulate hardly reveal any points in the story.

The open ending of the film does not help either. Running at almost 2 hours, the film is almost a total mess except for Abrahamson’s performance given the film’s limitations.

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