An unsatisfying addition to the genre-based existential crisis territory marked out by the likes of ‘Memento’, ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Unbreakable’, ‘Special’ centres on Les (Michael Rapaport), a painfully ordinary LA traffic warden. Les’s sole source of excitement is his participation in trials for a new antidepressant, overseen by Dr Dobson (Jack Kehler) on behalf of the mysterious suited brothers who own the pharmaceutical company. But when he begins to experience superpowered side-effects, do they indicate an amazing medical breakthrough or an unhinged mind? A low-budget effort, shot plainly against a quasi-realist backdrop, ‘Special’ features some nice effect shots in which Les seems to float in air or pass through walls – hints of mundane wonder akin to the digicam images of alien apocalypse in Spielberg’s ‘War of the Worlds’. And Rapaport – a longtime what-was-he-in-again? indie presence – brings a certain dignity to his first leading role, even if it’s as a somewhat patronisingly-written schlub. But with a dramatically limited premise and frustratingly uncertain tone, ‘Special’ struggles to maximise its potential. A bit like Les.
|Release date:||Friday November 17 2006|
Cast and crew
|Director:||Hal Haberman, Jeremy Passmore|
|Screenwriter:||Hal Haberman, Jeremy Passmore|