Thursday, July 24, 2008

Burn Notice

It probably would be sensible to at least wait until I’d seen the second part before condemning Burn Up as an absolute stinker. But why wait. Watching it was made all the more disappointing because whereas the trailers for, say, Bonekickers pretty much showed it was going to be a big bucket of nonsense, for Burn Up I had high hopes.

It was billed as an eco-drama but so far seems more like six PowerPoint presentations in search of a narrative. Much like the equally disappointing The Last Enemy broadcast earlier this year, which thumped the tub about the dangers of a surveillance society, Burn Up seemed to think we needed to be told about the crisis the environment is in right now. Really? Fuck!!

We should be worried about the environment and what kind of planet will be left for future generations. Except most of the kids I cross paths really deserve to have their skulls split open with a tyre iron. So, give the little maggots swimming lessons as a courtesy and then let them take their chances.

I suppose Burn Up could have worked, especially if a little more threat and tension had been shoehorned into the plot in exchange for the a few less facts. As a co-production between Kudos in the UK and Canada’s SEVEN24 Films, at least the budget stretched to hiring Bradley Whitford, who is also good value. Except from virtually his very first scene, his character Mack, a Christian right-winger and lobbyist/fixer for American big businesses, might as well have had VILLAIN written across his forehead in magic marker.

Getting a better deal, and certainly a more interesting character, was Marc Warren as the colourful sock-wearing government wonk, charged with getting his job done and not really giving a shit about taking sides. In fact, if he had been designated the central character it might have been a whole lot more interesting.

Instead, we had to put up with Rupert Penry-Jones stepped in as Tom McConnell, the vice-chairman, then new chairman of Arrow Oil. He obviously got the job because he had married the boss’ daughter because he had no understanding of how things we done in business and carried on like he had just fallen off the turnip truck.

Stranger still, he carried on his business with absolutely no staff whatsoever. Even when he appeared in the High Court there was no entourage following in his wake. Back at the office not a secretary, nor a PA were in sight. Which I suppose made it easier to head off into Inuit country, spark up some methane that had escaped from under the permafrost and then bang Neve Campbell.

Anyway, in the final part on Friday, the Canadian funding dictates the story relocates to Calgary. Even if it starts to make sense, I think I might dig out the Top Gear Polar Challenge instead and watch Clarkson and May thrash their way toward the North Pole in a 4x4.


At 8:43 pm, Blogger English Dave said...

perhaps 'Burn Out' is a more appropriate title. But I can't top Cock Knockers lol

At 11:22 am, Blogger Good Dog said...

I can only think of utterly unprintable titles.

I did love the way that David Butcher, writing in Radio Times, noted the Bon----kers in Bonekickers even before the first episode had screened.


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