Mega Time Squad

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Mega Time Squad is a Kiwi-made science fiction/heist comedy directed by Tim Van Dammen starring Jonny Brugh, Hetty Gaskil Hahn and Anton Tennant (who happens to look exactly like Tom Cruise in this film).

The story follows Johnny, a young criminal living in Thames, New Zealand, who is caught up with a gang and betrays his kingpin boss in order to prove that he is not the p***y everyone says he is.

After robbing cash from a dangerous Chinese gangster, Tom Cru – uh I mean, Johnny steals a bracelet from the store, but it turns out to be an ancient Chinese time-travel device. Despite being warned, Johnny uses the relic to pull off an elaborate heist, but using the bracelet has dire repercussions and puts our main character in serious danger.

Before seeing Mega Time Squad, I assumed that this film would be absolutely fantastic or a complete flop, and to be honest, it wasn’t either.

The poster was the main thing that attracted me to this film, riddled with visual appeal and movie references; I assumed the film would reflect this. If you’re a bit of a movie buff like me, you’ll appreciate all of the subtle movie references weaved throughout the film, and of course the not so subtle ones – we’re looking at you Taxi Driver scene.

One thing I was slightly disappointed with was the aesthetic of the film. While Thames, New Zealand isn’t exactly a Hollywood movie set, I still hoped that the colour and art direction in the film was more like the poster.

While I did enjoy the film concept, the script didn’t seem overly comedic enough to be considered a comedy, or serious enough to be considered a believable drama.  The romance element was a little half-baked, and it would have been nice to see something more developed than just a ‘love at first sight’ explanation.

Not all of the jokes were comedy gold, but that dry sense of humor that Kiwis love is prominent and enjoyable. Unsurprisingly, the audience responded most to the jokes on the sillier side.

While the exposition dialogue seemed a little forced sometimes, there were plenty of intriguing moments as well as twists and turns. Each beat of the story was an unexpected surprise, and nothing was ever predictable which made for a rollercoaster of a film.

Although the film only racks up 81 minutes of screen time, I couldn’t help but feel that the plot would have been a lot more successful in a short film format; however had there been more moments for comedy to shine through and a developed romance sub plot, I think the film would have warranted a longer screen time.

– Sarah Mount

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