Sophomoric would be a kind description of Paul Krik's muddled black-and-white 9/11 conspiracy dud, "Able Danger."

Sophomoric would be a kind description of Paul Krik’s muddled black-and-white 9/11 conspiracy dud, “Able Danger.” A wholesale ripoff of “The Maltese Falcon” with bits of “Kiss Me Deadly” thrown in for added imitation, pic displays a shocking lack of discipline all too common with freshman digital features, but here, the filmmakers can’t sustain a scene, let alone a concept. Tale of a Brooklyn Joe swept into a cloak-and-dagger search for a hard drive proving America’s sponsorship of Mohamed Atta seems to take itself seriously, though fests programming this bore risk losing any loyal following.

An over-the-top femme fatale (Elina Lowensohn, dreadful) with multiple monikers drags conspiracy theorist Thomas Flynn (Adam Nee) into a deadly hunt for computer data spelling out U.S. involvement in 9/11. Every element from “The Maltese Falcon” is ripped off and thrown away, while endless pseudo-snappy dialogue ranges from formulaic to just plain exasperating. Perfs are generally an embarrassment, especially Michael J. Burg as a Peter Lorre knock-off, making Dieter from “Sprockets” sound authentically German. Opening overdoes the computer graphics, while use of color for TV sets and computer screens passes as originality.

Able Danger


An Able Danger production. Produced by Paul Krik. Line producer, Ari Krepostman. Directed, written by Paul Krik.


Camera (B&W/color, DV), Charles Libin; editors, Krik, Roberto Serrini; music, Michael Montes, John Roome; production designer, Willa Roberts; art director, costume designer, exec producer, Martina Nevermann. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (Rotterdammerung), Jan. 27, 2008. Running time: 83 MIN.


Elina Lowensohn, Adam Nee, Michael J. Burg, Tamara Knausz, David Coburn, Brandon Bales, Frank Deal, Greg Martin, Angela Pierce, Katya Zahkarova, Christian Contreras, Vedant Gohkale, Matthew Simon.
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