How far would you go to escape a monotonous dead-end job in a diner? We watched Blue Iguana and found out.
Hadi Hajaig’s darkly-comic heist thriller Blue Iguana brings violence, foul language and plenty of gore to the audience. But does it commit the perfect crime, or does it mess things up?
What’s the plot?
Eddie (Sam Rockwell) and Paul (Ben Schwartz) are on parole, unhappily working in a diner for a tyrannical boss. Things start looking brighter when English lawyer Katherine Rookwood (Phoebe Fox) makes them an offer they can’t refuse: £30,000 to pursue the valuable diamond Blue Iguana in London.
After an initially successful coup – stealing the gem from within the walls of the Natural History Museum – things go awry. Small-time crime boss Deacon Bradshaw (Peter Ferdinando) and his goons intercept the gang at delivery of the bounty, initiating a chase through London’s crime scene to regain the precious sapphire.
What’s the style?
Hajaig’s writing is undeniably influenced by both 80s gangster thrillers and Quentin Tarantino’s best movies. Mixing brute, in-your-face humour with plenty of action scenes and quirky characters, Blue Iguana attempts to bring back the charm of B-movies from a bygone age.
At times, the film succeeds in this regard. The soundtrack usually manages to bring across the mood, emphasising both the quiet, heartfelt moments of passion between Eddie and Katherine and the gore-laden gunfights which never run short of showcasing plenty of blood. Haijaig also succeeds with his shots, demonstrating good capabilities in highlighting the important aspects of every scene.
But the film shows its greatest prowess through its actors. Both Rockwell and Fox incorporate their characters well, managing to bring the tongue-in-cheek script to life. They emphasise the uncomfortable relationship growing between Eddie and Katherine as the plot unfolds.
What’s the verdict?
Blue Iguana is ambitious in its attempts to capture the spirit of the 80s, and sometimes it succeeds. While the brutish humour and Tarantino-inspired gore won’t satisfy every viewer, it’s a reasonably entertaining flick. Great for an audience seeking a light-weight production with a touch of old-fashioned B-movies.
Blue Iguana (15) is out in UK cinemas on 5th October.