December 3rd 2015
Targeted film review
review by: ReelRomp
TARGETED ( 2015 )
I have seen western films, studio and indie with mixed results that dominated either sides of the spectrum. In "Targeted" the wind blows, the guns are drawn and the music is just what you'd expect from your favorite period piece. There is not, alas, a whole lot of depth happening here though, mainly we have some fun with cameras, costumes and a cliché script. It seems in the way of writing, Locke, the writer/director doesn't have a lot to say that could be considered new. He simply tries to drive the story along the tracks as fast as he can, with no real angle towards the narrative he's attempting to create, and no interesting character development along the way. In fact, "Targeted" scarcely bothers to develop the characters at all; Agent Jimmy Makton (Dufrene) is given a mission to chase down bad-ass Billy The Butcher (Haley), everyone mills around for a bit to fill the second act, and we have the ending. The movie may have been filmed on a coffee and beans budget over the span of three years, but at times looks more like it was filmed over a weekend using Locke's penny jar to fund it.
Maybe I'm being a little harsh on this production. Truth be told it wasn't a complete wash by any stretch. As nameless characters rambled around in some interesting costumes for a low budget film, I found myself asking just what the movie was lacking. And the answer, I think, was really obvious: It needed an above average script complete with some above average dialog. I needed to understand the characters more to determine if I actually cared. I'm not saying I didn't appreciate the tacky lines thrown in to make it a spaghetti western, it just wasn't enough, all things considered. "Targeted" came across as a group of pals dressing up to be cowboys and having some fun. But "hot dog" there was some good stuff mixed in that made "Targeted" better than your average no budget film. It was watchable if only to ask yourself why you sat through it, but I still did just that, making the film much better than most of this genre and budget.
Another issue for me was my expectations. When promoting "Targeted" one should consider marketing as a double edged sword. When I read about all the included extras, and time spent on this movie (three years) I just expected a lot more. Three years, even with no money should produce a polished piece of work. It should be slick in post at the very least. Expectations can be a cruel thing if not used properly. My suggestion would not be to market the film based on the amount of time it took to make it. Viewers simply don't care. They just want to be entertained. Save the details for the BTS bits.
There is one other element of note "Targeted" features that was rather fun. The "B Script" in all it's glory. Here lies the real fun behind "Targeted" that should not be missed. To touch on it quickly, this version is the original, written by a seven year old. I can't say much about it except that it's amusing and fun. An excellent addition all around.
"Targeted" may not be the best of the best but it does entertain and is completely worth a purchase or rental. Watching everyone run around in some nice period costumes really does cement the feel of an old western; even if the clothes seem a little clean for the times. The sometimes awkward dialog also, at times manage to stretch ones lips into a smile which is what I'm sure the actors were going for. It all comes down to one simple fact: Anything that will keep you seated and maybe make you smile a little is worth the price of a cup or two of java. This is easily a distraction I would recommend to anyone looking for a quick trip back in time, complete with some cool costumes, gruff voices and interesting, cheeky dialog. Well, cool costumes except maybe that purple/blue vest...