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The Jogger

by on July 20, 2013
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The Jogger - inside

Have you ever watched a movie and feel like there was…

Have you ever had one of those moments where you were trying to say something but you couldn’t find the right words to complete your…

Annoying, isn’t it?  Incomplete thoughts, sentence fragments.

“The Jogger” is the film version of those grammatical taboos. This 2013 entrant into the Indianapolis International Film Festival felt like a wandering movie idea that didn’t start to identify itself until the third act. Even though a stronger ending may have saved this movie, as is, the film leaves much to be desired.

There were several things that I liked about the movie, including the acting and the cinematography. Although I didn’t like the story that was told, I can confidently say it was pieced together very well.

It started off well enough, building intrigue into the characters’ world by shrouding it in mystery. But with very few hints about the mystery being given throughout the film, I quickly became bored; it was like watching a detective movie with no clues.

Another thing that irked me about the movie was that it felt like a patchwork quilt of other movie ideas and that rather than serving a purpose, they seemed to be included as stylistic fodder.  Prime example:

There is a scene in “Pulp Fiction” where Bruce Willis’ character has just escaped a sex-dungeon where he was about to be raped.  He runs upstairs and is about to exit, but at that moment — with his body halfway out the door — he’s faced with an internal conflict: Should he go back downstairs and save his former boss, who has put out a hit on him, or should he just save himself? He chooses to stay but not before picking a weapon to take back down to the basement to attack the armed assailants. First, he picks up and tests out a chainsaw, a hammer and a baseball bat, all before deciding on a Katana sword.

Similarly, “The Jogger” has a scene where the main character goes through the same “which weapon to use” routine. What the filmmakers failed to realize was that there was a crucial element missing from the “routine”: internal conflict. Whereas Willis’ character was picking a weapon to exact the best revenge on the rapists, “The Jogger’s” main character really had no reason to feel so conflicted. When you include a scene like this, it comes across as contrived. There are several other instances like this in the film that I won’t delve into.

Then there was the ending. Oh, the ending! Lawd have mercy! (Read that in your best fat, Southern church-lady accent.) Did I really watch this movie for an ending like this?!

Disappointment can’t even begin to describe how I felt at that moment, and without spoiling the ending for those of you that haven’t seen it, please let me make a comparison:

In “Fight Club,” when we find out Edward Norton and Brad Pitt’s characters are the same person, it made sense because there were clues being given throughout the film. The ending of “The Jogger” attempts to achieve the same level of profundity, but because there are very few clues being given to the audience, it falls extremely flat (the same flatness that I felt when I watched M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village”).

“The Jogger” is playing during the Indianapolis International Film Festival on July 22nd (9pm) and July 24th (2:30pm), and I would recommend going to watch the film to see if you agree with my assessment. Please note: There are enough elements in the movie to show that these filmmakers have promise. Just remember, when you walk out you might feel a little…

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