Producer Cassian Elwes makes an unimpressive debut as writer and director of "Blue Flame," a dull, incongruous sci-fi pic that is comically wrong in almost every way. After initial midnight screenings, which are likely to be attended mainly by the filmmakers' friends, nonsensical futurist saga should head straight to video.
Producer Cassian Elwes makes an unimpressive debut as writer and director of “Blue Flame,” a dull, incongruous sci-fi pic that is comically wrong in almost every way. After initial midnight screenings, which are likely to be attended mainly by the filmmakers’ friends, nonsensical futurist saga should head straight to video.Story concerns Flemming (Brian Wimmer), a depressed father who travels through time and alternate realities in desperate search of Fire (Jad Magher) and Rain (Kerri Green), a pair of alien lovers who he believes have kidnapped his young daughter. Her traumatic disappearance, which had caused marital breakup, continues to haunt Flemming and his estranged wife, Jessie (Cecilia Peck), as they’re trying to put their marriage on track again. There’s no point trying to find logic in an unnecessarily confusing and convoluted story that doesn’t make sense on its own terms. Elwes tries to chew heavy issues, such as a father’s paranoia in coming to terms with his maturing daughter’s sexuality, but his script is defeated by an underlying sappy family melodrama. Some of the lines are unintentionally campy, with humor deriving from the silly plotting — and the manner in which cast delivers lines — rather than the core situation. Script reportedly was written in four days, in what the press notes describe as a “form of an hallucination,” while Elwes was in the hospital recovering from an operation. It shows: The writing is so poor and the narrative so uninvolving that the screenplay should have gone through at least two more drafts — with Elwes completely sober — before anyone even considered shooting it. Effort to create a visually interesting surreal world, one that contrasts with ordinary reality, is also unconvincing. At the end, when the mystery of the missing daughter is unraveled, you don’t feel so much cheated by the preposterous twists of the plot as relieved that the experience is over.