Reviewer's Rating 3 out of 5   User Rating 3 out of 5
Guy X (2005)
15Contains strong language

Guy X is about being young, alone, in love and in the Army. And confused and desperate and let-down by authority. It's amiable enough but it may take two viewings to decide whether any of this amounts to very much. Smartly sidestepping typecasting, American Pie star Jason Biggs plays a 70s soldier dumped in Greenland when he's supposed to be in Hawaii. His crazy commanding officer (Jeremy Northam) refuses to let him leave and a shapely sergeant (Natascha McElhone) provides other reasons to stay. And the base has a secret...

Biggs is charming and likeable and the film has a pleasantly aimless feel in the first half, as his confused soldier adjusts to life at this obscure outpost. The atmosphere of goofing off and eccentricity shifts as Biggs explores a secret hospital ward, where he discovers Guy X (Michael Ironside), a paralysed, scarred old soldier whose existence is apparently a secret. There's an eeriness to the exchanges between the pair and the sense that there is a big mystery here; a mystery which, frustratingly, the film never comes close to explaining. It drifts gently from scene to scene, with the shift from comedy to tragedy intriguing but never emotionally affecting.

"REBELLION AND HELPLESSNESS"

Director Saul Metzstein (Late Night Shopping) is stronger with actors than with story and everyone here is well (and somewhat daringly) cast and worth watching. The actors capture a certain spirit - of rebellion and helplessness - even when there's little in their characters to cling on to. The result is a film which lingers and haunts, but never compels.

End Credits

Director: Saul Metzstein

Writer: Steve Attridge, John Paul Chapple

Stars: Jason Biggs, Natascha McElhone, Jeremy Northam, Michael Ironside, Sean Tucker

Genre: Drama

Length: 101 minutes

Cinema: 14 October 2005

Country: USA, Iceland, Canada

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