Saturday, 24 October 2015

No.254 : Walter

Walter at the IMDb

No it isn’t a repeat - we’re not the BBC here at the W movie quest you know! This film is a totally different proposition from the ‘Walter’ we reviewed back in Blog 177 Blog 177  - there are no bum wiping for one, so that’s a good start.

This film was released in 2015 and opens with a familiar feeling voice over giving us a bit of insight and back-story to hurry things along. Walter, or Wally to his friends, is a bit of a misfit who has multiple wake up alarms and a job as a ticket ripper at the local multi-plex. We witness his fastidious rituals as he gets ready for the day and meet his over attentive mother who is constantly nagging him to eat more scrambled egg.

As Walter walks to his bus we learn that he thinks he is the son of God and it is his role to judge people to determine if they are going to heaven or hell. He wisely keeps this talent to himself especially with his colleagues who include the lovely Kendall who Walter fancies and Vince, a by-the-numbers asshole.

Walter seems happy in his ordered life but things take a turn when he is confronted by Greg, a ghost whom only Walter can see. Greg is in limbo and demands to be judged so that he can move on. Walter is disturbed as he can’t sense Greg and this causes him to delve into his own past to try and rationalise his life. He seeks therapy from William H. Macy, in a throwaway ‘one day on set’ performance and gets involved in the impending marriage of Neve Campbell who has some role in Walter past. Can he find peace and salvation and stop being so annoying?

This was an OK film but one that borrows heavily from others and won’t last long in the memory. The interactions with the ‘ghost’, especially the long shots showing there was no one there, were very reminiscent of the superior ‘Ghost Town’ and none of the characters had anything close to the personalities of Gervais and Kinnear. To be fair the ghost aspect was almost a subplot as the main focus was on the relationship of Walter and Jim.

Jim was a fireman whom may have been Walter’s father but was certainly there for his formative years. As the film progresses we learn that Jim died in hospital and may have known nurse Neve a bit more that is ethical. His death and possible infidelity left Walter and his mother emotionally scarred so that both developed extreme personalities. Walter took on a ‘Son of ‘God’ fixation whilst Mom cooked a lot of eggs. As you’d expect a bit of redemption is on the menu but I wasn’t convinced of the journey that supposedly shook the pair of them from their long term ruts.

The film’s main issue is that Walter, played by Andrew J. West isn’t likable and as the film nears its conclusion you don’t feel like you are rooting for him. You could argue that his difficult character was the main point and focus of the film, but similarly is a O.C.D. ridden socially awkward misfit your idea of a night’s entertainment? Mine neither.

The film was well put together with a lot of nice directorial touches but the predictable indie soundtrack and good looking people inevitably finding happiness seemed a bit flat and negating.

If I had to judge, and I do, I’d say ‘Send it to hell!’.

Best Bit : American Beauty homage/rip off
‘W’ Rating 14/23

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