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Freeze Frame
15Freeze Frame (2004)

updated 12 June 2004
reviewer's rating
2 out of 5
Reviewed by Neil Smith


Director
John Simpson
Writer
John Simpson
Stars
Lee Evans
Sean McGinley
Ian McNeice
Colin Salmon
Rachael Stirling
Rachel O'Riordan
Length
99 minutes
Distributor
Verve Pictures
Cinema
18 June 2004
Country
UK
Genre
Drama
Thriller
Web Links
Official site



Can you account for your movements yesterday? Last month? Last year? Sean Veil can. Traumatised by his arrest and near-conviction for a series of murders, this slapheaded loner has spent the last decade recording every minute of his life to prevent himself being fitted up for another crime. Boasting an innovative concept and a brave central performance from stand-up comic Lee Evans, Freeze Frame has the look of a stylish conspiracy thriller. Sadly, after a promising opening, John Simpson's feature debut dissolves into a disappointing hodgepodge of risible overacting and transparent plotting.

Convinced that a single moment off-camera will give his persecutors the opportunity to frame him again, Veil shaves all his body hair to prevent his DNA showing up at a crime scene and will not leave his fortress-like basement without a personal steadicam strapped to his waist. But the police remain convinced of his guilt and - egged on by Cracker-style psychologist Saul Seger (Ian McNeice) - come calling when a missing girl shows up in a shallow grave. Unfortunately, the one tape that will conclusively prove Sean's innocence has gone missing, forcing him to go on the run.

"A FAR-FETCHED FARRAGO"

It's a compelling scenario, but first-time writer-director Simpson fails to develop it in an interesting or even coherent fashion. A crucial revelation halfway through makes a nonsense of much that has gone before, and undermines the sympathy we have started to feel for Evans' paranoid hero. But that's nothing to the ludicrous orgy of blood and bullets that brings this far-fetched farrago to an overdue conclusion.

There's a lot to admire in the slick editing and deployment of different cameras, from hi-definition DV to grainy CCTV. It's just a shame so much flair and ingenuity has been invested in a story that falls apart the second it's run through the projector.

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