Metzstein made a promising debut with his ensemble comedy ‘Late Night Shopping’ but seems to have bitten off more than he can chew with this version of John Griesemer’s Joseph Heller-esque novel ‘No One Thinks of Greenland’. In Metzstein’s hands, this pitches up as a darkening black comedy closer to Stephen King territory. ‘American Pie’ star Jason Biggs stars as the grunt who, bound for Hawaii, finds himself dumped in a remote, Clinton-era, Arctic US army base. First, he’s assailed by mosquitos – on the one day a year they attack. Next, he’s mistaken by the colonel (Jeremy Northam, enjoying his regulation loony Viet-vet role) for the expected Military Information Officer and given the job of base newspaper editor. What to do but while away your time seducing the colonel’s attractive assistant (Natacha McElhone)? Until, that is, he discovers the underground secret wing…This is a muddled movie of two halves. The first, featuring some impressively alienating Icelandic scenery, reads like a cold version of ‘Catch 22’, with Biggs essaying a version of the Yosarian character; to keep sane in the mad world of the army and its complement of crazies, why not obey the rules? The second half abandons any such comedic gestures as it follows Biggs’s pursuit of dark, hidden truths, involving mysterious visits from shadowy agents in silver wide-lapelled trenchcoats. What? Not withstanding some enjoyable sub-‘MASH’ weird shit – the outdoor Longest Day Celebration with the drunk mixed-sex company shedding their underwear to Edwyn Starr’s ‘War’ – it’s a bemusing trip.
|Release date:||Friday October 14 2005|
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||John Paul Chapple, Steve Attridge|