Review: ‘Full Blast’

Produced by Ian Boyd.

Produced by Ian Boyd.

Directed by Rodrigue Jean. Screenplay, Jean, Nathalie Loubeyre, based on the novel “L’Ennemi que je connais” by Martin Pitre. Camera (color), Stefan Ivanov; editor, Mathieu Bouchard-Malo; music, Robert Marcel Lepage; art director, Luc J. Beland. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Perspective Canada), Sept. 15, 1999. (French dialogue.) Running time: 95 MIN.

With: David La Haye, Martin Desgagne, Louise Portal, Marie-Jo Therio, Patrice Godin.

First-time feature helmer Rodrigue Jean does an OK job of capturing the desperate angst of young people staring into bleak futures in a desolate small town, but “Full Blast” showcases little dramatic momentum and will stretch the patience of most viewers. French-language pic shot in rural New Brunswick will likely make its way quickly to the small screen following a couple of fest stops.

Life is looking dire for Steph (David La Haye) and his pal Piston (Martin Desgagne). They’re out of work thanks to a labor dispute at the lumber mill, Steph is having problems with his older girlfriend, Rose (Louise Portal), and Piston is in even bigger trouble with his ex-wife, Marie-Lou (Marie-Jo Therio). When their old buddy Charles (Patrice Godin) returns to town, events come to a boil, with each character having an existential crisis. By pic’s end, most will simply be tired of hearing these folks’ endless moaning and complaints. Best moments come from terrific perfs by Portal, as the only mature person in the gang, and La Haye, as the seriously conflicted Steph. Lenser Stefan Ivanov succeeds in catching the feel of this barren landscape.

Full Blast



An Aska Film Distribution release (in Canada) of a Les Films de L'Isle/Transmar Films production. (International sales: Les Films de L'Isle, Montreal.)
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