Dir: Zachary Yoshioka
Starring: Mary Basha, Matt Gumby, Michael Greene, Chris Allen

[Tempe Cinemas premiere, benefiting the Red Cross, 2nd May 2003] Originally filmed in 2001, Ballistic sat on this production post-9/11 because of the content. The theme here is admittedly violence, but they really shouldn't have worried - less mature and thoughtful movies still come out of Hollywood every day (this week, X2 is the prime example). After a lighthearted opening, involving the same anecdote being told to anyone who'll listen, the movie depicts a series of aggressive acts, starting with a woman (Basha) being raped. It heads more or less relentlessly into the abyss from there, encouraged by whispers from a mysterious figure in sunglasses (Allen, a creepy and effective performance).

If the film shows its age a bit, this is largely because Yoshioka has improved notably over the past two years. The central idea here is interesting, but the story seems unsure whether to be linear, circular, or shaped like a pretzel. As a result, there are bits whose relevance seems questionable, and the tone ends up slightly uneven and choppy. It's still recognisably the director's work though, thanks to the strong visual style and music from local bands, including Headfirst and Halfgain. Even if the film itself might be somewhat slight, add a bunch of music videos, two highly-amusing parodies of MTV Cribs, plus a live acoustic performance from Mourning Maxwell, and there's no doubt Ballistic delivered plenty of bang for the five bucks admission. All this and a good cause too...


The devil made me do it...
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