Last week, Connecticut filmmaker Danny LeGare debuted his new feature film, Marco Polo Boys, to a packed house at the Parkade Theater in Manchester. Anytime someone can film a feature length movie on a shoestring budget, it’s a major accomplishment. But it’s all for naught is the movie isn’t any good. So it’s time to answer the all important question: how was it?
In short, Marco Polo Boys was funny, touching, profane and overall it was pretty darn good!
Here’s the story: Nick Barnes (played by Danny LeGare) returns home to Stafford, CT after being away for seven years. When LeGare’s character left home, he didn’t tell anyone and just hit the road so homecoming was quite a surprise to his knucklehead buddies and the former love of his life Ashley, played by Gloria Stewart. The movie follows LeGare as he reconnects or in the case of Ashley, tries to reconnect, with his old crew (because as it turns out, girls don’t care much for guys who take off without saying a word…weird, right!?)
The other big issue for the Marco Polo Boys is their tendency to get into fist fights. It seems like everywhere they turn, someone is trying to start a fight with them. The crew rarely starts these brawls as they’re mostly sticking up for people done wrong…sort of like a small town versions of Batman! But as the LeGare character matures, he starts to realize that getting into fights isn’t as fun as it used to be. His best friend in the movie, Tommy, (played by Brad Brinkley) has different ideas and wants to continue to scrap because, as he puts it, “It’s all I know!”
The biggest strength of this film is the acting performance put forth by the three leads: LeGare, Stewart, and Brinkley. All were outstanding. LeGare plays the conflicted returning son very well, Stewart plays the jaded and skeptical love interest with great depth, and Brinkley plays the “guy who can’t evolve” to perfection.
What’s really amazing about this movie is that pretty much all of the dialog was improvised. That was a big gamble but it completely paid off because it made the dialog and riffing seem completely natural.
Maybe the worst part about the movie is that it made Stafford seem like a pretty scary place! Everyone is trying to beat the crap out of each other. Hopefully that was trumped up for the movie and it’s not really THAT violent of a town.
There will be future screenings of this movie and The CuT would highly recommend everyone go see this. Unless you have sensitive ears…there’s enough swearing to make Tarantino blush. This movie is one of those “cool, indie” flicks that could definitely develop a following making the lead actors big names in the next few years. They could be the next Jay and Silent Bobs.
Three saltshakers because, well, we like to support our own.