Review: The FP / Cert: TBC / Director(s): Brandon Trost, Jason Trost / Screenplay: Brandon Trost, Jason Trost / Starring: Jason Trost, Lee Valmassy, Art Hsu, Caker Folley, Nick Principle, Brandon Barrera / Release Date: (UK) TBC, (USA) Out Now
The Trost Brothers have created an action comedy that has a surreal dreamlike quality, a bizarre amalgamation of Streets of Fire set in the world of Escape From New York, mixed with the heart and soul of Rocky. The FP doesn't take itself too seriously and that's part of its charm.
In the near dystopian future, narrated by James Remar (from the classic film, The Warriors) rival streets gangs fight for control over the FP (Fraizer Park) by participating in the dance/fight video game, Beat-Beat Revolution. If the title sounds familiar, it is. It’s based on the arcade game, Dance Dance Revolution, though The Trost Brothers were unable to get the rights - a massive marketing faux pas on the creators' behalf. Remember when M&M's turned down Spielberg for E.T. and they used Reese's Pieces instead? I think the guy who dropped the ball there now runs the night shift at a bowl alley.
Jason Troost plays JTRO, our Snake Plisskin-like hero, who witnesses the death of his brother, BTRO during a grueling dance-off against vicious gang leader, L Dubba E (complete with hairstyle inspired by Mr. T) as he cries, "Nooooooo, I'll never play Beat-Beat Revolution again!"
A year later, we find JTRO in isolation as DJ, KCDC (a stand out performance by Art Hsu who played Johnny Vang in Crank 2: High Voltage) delivers bad news that the FP is now being run by L Dubba W and is in ruins. JTRO now must find the courage to return and restore order in a battle that can only leave one man... dancing.
The FP has an '80s, Roger Corman drive-in movie feel to it and that's what makes it entertaining. The characters are all interesting, including the minor ones, and there's some hilarious, OTT dialogue throughout ("he wasn't expecting the unexpected, but the unexpected was sure expecting him"). Troost brings a certain quality to the brooding JTRO audiences will like. Caker Folley as JTRO's damaged, trailer trash love interest Stacey, as well as Nick Principe as spiritual guru and Dance Master BTL who trains JTRO for his big fight, also both turn out excellent performances.
Director, writer and cinematographer Brandon Trost (who was also the DP for the aforementioned Crank 2: High Voltage as well as Rob Zombie's upcoming Lords of Salem) keeps the story active and his choice of lighting is impressive for many of the set pieces. Special mention also goes out to production designer Tyler B. Robinson who, with a shoestring budget, created fabulous sets, along with George Holdcroft for providing the excellent techno pop soundtrack.
The FP is a lot of fun and is sure to become a cult favourite.
Expected rating: 6 out of 10