"We must get Victor involved, no one can do what he does!”
Added 10th September 2022
Review by: Jane Alexandra Foster
Released in 2022
Victor Blackley had been an important secret agent, working undercover with a group, but a terrible tragedy resulted in his wife’s death, and now he runs a glamorous bar in the Caribbean.
However, ten years on, old colleague and friend, Vivian turns up, accompanied by her husband to be, shady businessman Blake, dying embers reignite into flames, and it’s time to deal with some old demons.
With Eric Roberts relishing every moment of his role as the dastardly weapons dealer, ‘Blackbird’ just about flies. The story isn’t bad, and the production values hold up glossily on Michael Flatley’s first outing as writer/director/producer.
It is the ‘producer’ title that deserves most applause, because he’s clearly made the most of what was not a big budget, with three very well-chosen locations; a hotel in the lush tropics somewhere, the back streets of Westminster and a large country estate/house. Very well shot by seasoned cinematographer Luke Palmer, the action is framed slickly and effortlessly, and the film treads very prettily in the direction of an episode of Downton Abbey on holiday with a bit of retro Ian Fleming’s Bond thrown in.
The extras and actors have all been given wonderful attention to detail, great hair, make-up and costumes all have a retro feel, even though the film is set somewhere in the 21st century. In-fact due to the limited locations, they inhabit the glossy world that’s been created very nicely, but sadly there’s a lot missing in acting and directing. This is a woeful shame when you have such acting talents as Patrick Bergin and Ian Bettie, who both flounder about with hardly a good line or clue what it is they are motivated by, such is the lack of experience or development in the script.
Sadly, it has to be said that Flately might well have also done better to give the directing reigns to someone who could’ve pulled the story together into the pastiche drama it’s begging to be. This is where Eric Roberts is to be congratulated, as he’s sending it all up, but doing it with such charisma and aplomb the film is just about watchable when he’s on screen.
Alas the writing, which although spirited is just not experienced enough to pull off that most tricky of genres, the spy thriller. Being an accomplished scriptwriter, is totally different from being an accomplished performer, and being master of one craft and art from does not necessarily mean one automatically will be talented at another.
Flatley fans and those wondering whatever Eric Roberts is doing these days, your moment has arrived.
THE B CLUB RATING : B B
Starring: Eric Roberts, Michael Flatley, Patrick Bergin, Ian Beattie, Nicole Evans, Lara Lemon
Writer: Michael Flatley
Director: Michael Flatley
BLACKBIRD is currently screening Nationwide via Wildcard Distribution.
The B Club
All donations are gratefully received and will help to further support Indie Film