22 September 2006 | rsoonsa
Photography of Local Colour Is The Only Element One Is Apt To Appreciate.
Very picturesque, and sharply contrasting, settings in British Columbia and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico are splendidly photographed by capable Doug McKay but, sadly, that is the best part of a lower berth effort that tiresomely wastes the playing talents of such as Winston Reckert and Jackson Davies, while being burdened by poor direction, a shabbily constructed script, and inexpedient casting selections. A Canadian commercial fisherman, Sean Phelan (Reckert), is inside a box from debt, facing the loss of his mortgaged fishing boat, when he is approached by a long-time acquaintance who offers Sean a large sum of money in return for his solo sailing of a ketch carrying illegal narcotics from Colombia to Canada, a dangerous venture that the penurious Phelan believes he is being forced to attempt. Sean flies to Colombia to meet with the owner of the boat that he is to skipper north with its outlawed cargo, and from this point a screenplay that is beyond redemption adds predictable complications and doublecrosses to Phelan's life, his essay at reframing his financial condition being fraught with numerous obstacles. Among these are a sinister functionary of "The Syndicate" that wishes to appropriate the drugs for its own financial benefit; the deceitful owner of the contraband carrying vessel; and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), whose agents, in overstretched sequences, are monitoring the boat's course by use of United States Drug Enforcement Agency spy satellite assistance. As one shall expect, there is an obligatory attractive female, in this instance Britt Eklund as a RCMP undercover operative who naturally falls in love with Sean and is there at the film's climax, along with members of the Canadian Army. All of this activity by various interested parties will create expectancy in a viewer that Sean's first serious fling at crime may go askew. The disordered script provides scant character development, and ragged post production work, particularly the editing process, does not help, nor does the raucous intrusion of several silly sound track songs composed and performed by a Canadian pop singer, and although the inventive lighting and camera skills of McKay are first-rate, giving pleasure where none may be anticipated, these are not enough to lift the production to a satisfactory level.