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Subject Two (2006)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Philip Chidel

Starring:
Christian Oliver/Adam
Dean Stapleton/Vick
Courtney Mace/Kate
PLOT-CRUNCH
A young maverick Doctor (Oliver), accepts an obscure job from a certain Doctor Vick (Stapleton). The place of business? A remote cabin atop a snowy mountain. The task at hand? Beating death.
THE LOWDOWN
I had never heard of this modern low budget update on FRANKENSTEIN, so it was with virgin ears, eyes and gray matter that I tackled SUBJECT TWO. Once the film began I was swiftly sucked into its cold world by the excellent cast and the tantalizing premise at hand. Christian Oliver as Adam had me off the bat with a multi layered performance and once Michael Ironside/Jack Nicholson dead ringer Dean Stapleton (Vick) kicked in with his riveting show that was all she wrote for this pony.

Both actors had well written characters to play with, both had the chops to execute them and better yet both shared an engrossing onscreen chemistry that kept my retinas glued to them, hanging on their every word. There's nothing like watching two solid "thespians" (yup, my pretentious alarm just rang off on that word) Ping Pong together acting wise, specially when their spitting out tight dialogue. The story itself started out with some promise; visceral experiments, wince inducing results and the dissection of the question; "What is it that makes us alive?". They had me by the couillons! I also felt so much empathy for the "put through the emotional/psychological ringer" Adam and that upped my involvement in the flick even further. All that was needed were a couple of heart stopping plot turns to take us into new and bolder directions and I would've been locked stocked and smoking barrels...and there was the rub.

Although the plot turns with potential were in the house, the film never ran with them far enough to kick that ass hardcore. For example, the "sparks" laced courtship between Adam and Kate (played by the charming Courtney Mace) that was established in the beginning was never capitalized upon and that was a low down dirty shame. Their one scene together was incredibly sweet due to the solid writing and acting on display and I was so hoping they'd go back to it; they never did. Why establish it then? MADDENING! Instead the film decided to repeat itself in terms of the evolution of the experiment. Sure they're were variations but at the heart of it, I was still gawking at the same damn thing over and over again. Yup, it got redundant after a while and that hurt the pacing of the piece as well.  

By the time the emotionally filled finale kicked in with a clever twist in its back-pack at that, the film had somewhat let me down. It could've been SO MUCH more! With that injected into your veins, SUBJECT TWO was still far from a waste of time. You can feel the effort put into it by the talent involved; it oozed out of the screen and that in itself was gripping. Tag to that a jaw dropping setting and able visuals and you get a film that's worth checking out but yet should've gone so much further with all that it set up. Will you partake in this experiment?

GORE
We get bullet wounds, slit throats, an open back (surgery) and random blood. Grisly enough!
ACTING
Christian Oliver (Adam) was likeable and conveyed the many facets of his character with skill and guts. Loved him! Dean Stapleton (Vick) gave an intense, internal and engaging performance that screamed "Young Ironside"! Good stuff man! Within her brief screen time, uber charismatic Courtney Mace (Kate) got me to fall for her. Too bad the film abandoned her character 10 minutes in. What was that all about???
T & A
Its alive! ITS ALIVE! No its not...nothing here Tacos!
DIRECTING
Philip Chidel's unubstusive visual approach served his tale well and the hints of slick style that dropped by now and again was appreciated. He also had a firm handle on his actors and the suspense while knowing how to milk his location for all it was worth.
SOUNDTRACK
We're offered a bleak and hypnotizing score by Erik Godal.
BOTTOM LINE
SUBJECT TWO was a case of "could've been great" but alas, took the passable route. It was all there: a fascinating storyline, Grade A acting, awe inspiring scenery and strong dialogue. Unfortunately the script didn't sprint with the weight it had and instead opted to repeat and hold back on itself. I still recommend you see the peculier puppy at least once though!
BULL'S EYE
The flick was shot on location in and above Aspen, Colorado. In the winter.

It took an hour-and-a-half snowmobile caravan just to get to the location.

VISIT THE SUBJECT TWO SITE HERE

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