Rick is a strange film. I was completely unnerved during the first fifteen minutes, unsure whether to laugh, be appalled or bored. Was I missing something?
The main problem with Rick is that it sits uncomfortably ‘between’ genres. Is it a black comedy? Cautionary tale? Film noir? Maybe it’s all three, but the story simply isn’t clever enough to tackle even one of these conventions with ease. More importantly, it’s as if each cast member chose one of the above genres and paid no attention to what anyone else was doing. I’m not surprised that this film didn’t get a cinema release – I can’t imagine any major studio backing it, and it’s simply not quirky enough to get a decent cult following (like Donnie Darko or Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind). I missed the showing at the 2004 Melbourne International Film Festival, and picked it up only recently as it surreptitiously made it’s way onto the rental shelves.
I’m not a particularly big fan of Bill Pullman (although Mark is), but I have enjoyed Agnes Bruckner’s work in the past. Pullman did fine although never seemed comfortable with the role. Bruckner on the other hand was the only ‘safe’ part of Rick – her performance seemed real enough even if the rest of the film didn’t. Dylan Baker also delivered a fine performance – humorous yet with a definite undertone of malice.
The trailer for the film certainly presented a much better movie. If Rick was half as good as the trailer hinted, I would have been much happier.Rating: