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Juncture (DVD Review)

3 Aug, 2008 By: David Greenberg


Street 8/12/08
$24.95 DVD
Rated ‘R' for violence, language, some sexuality and drug content.
Stars Kristine Blackport, John Hutton, Jeff Nicholson, Diana Dresser, Andrew Porter.

On the surface, Juncture might appear to be yet another take on themes familiar to viewers who have seen any number of films about vigilantes — anything from Death Wish to Batman and dozens upon dozens of other titles.

Anything familiar though, ends there. James Seale's stylish film manages to spin in many different directions and take on a variety of issues, but remain remarkably coherent.

Beyond the “avenging angel of death” element, the story employs conventions from other stock genres and plot trajectories, including the “only so long to live so I better wrap things up” and, to some degree, the “double life as a superhero” scenarios, but combines them in a way that feels oddly fresh and original if not always compelling and linear.

In fact, not unlike Batman's Bruce Wayne, Anna Carter (Blackport) leads a fairly glamorous high-society lifestyle, travelling by private jet and limo in her role as director of a large, extremely well-endowed foundation established by a benevolent Internet tycoon (Hutton) to serve disadvantaged or abused children.

Anna uses her many opportunities to cross the country (for a presumably modestly budgeted film the use of locations in Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco is impressive) as a way of promoting her secret agenda, tracking down and killing people convicted of child abuse who are now free.

Injecting a terminal-illness angle might seem odd at first, maybe even superfluous, appearing well into the running time and, in fact, long after Anna's lethal activities have been established rather than serving as the inciting incident within the first act that starts her on her “mission.” Upon analysis it is a unique “ticking clock” device that lends an urgency and some poignancy to the action.

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