The Channel – A Review by Jenn Rohm
Those of you that know me or have read my reviews know I love a good action movie. The adrenaline rush mixed with the suspension of reality and some amazing cars (if I am lucky) make for time well spent. Filled with characters we want to be, want to date, or have as friends, they have a level of glamorization that creates an appeal to lifestyles that are not totally legal. Of course, with large budgets, options for special effects, wardrobes, and vehicles are almost limitless. Not every film works with large budgets, what are the options then?
William Kaufman is a Director/Writer who has proven to provide a good movie with a more realistic view while having a smaller budget. His latest release, The Channel, will be available as VOD on July 14, 2023.
Set in New Orleans we learn about another part of this historic city. While the movie does not go into the history of The Irish Channel, knowing a bit about it helps establish the story. In the early 19th century, the Irish immigrated and assisted with building the New Basin Canal. As the area already had a strong Roman Catholic presence it was a natural fit. As immigrants were coming from all over gangs developed out of ethnic conflict creating a bit of ruffian history passing down the generations. The Port of New Orleans was a primary location for income for those living in the area, technological advances were made and the need for certain jobs was reduced. This of course added to the growing poverty levels we see today.
Brothers Jamie (Clayne Crawford) and Mic (Max Martini) Sheridan with others they know from active military duty as Marines rob a bank. Somehow local authorities arrive faster than expected and the FBI is brought in. Special Agent Frank Ross (Nicoye Banks) has shut down all options to leave and now the robbers must find a way out of New Orleans.
The movie starts from a first-person shooter perspective which had me worried about what I was in for. Fortunately, the whole movie is not from this shooting perspective. While I understood what the goal was, it took away from the movie for me. There were other places in the movie we were able to pick up on the military service of Jamie without it.
Without giving away anything more than I already have, there were a few speedbumps for me. There is a female character that the second time we see her it isn’t 100% clear that we had seen her before. Something as simple as her wardrobe not changing, a statement necklace, her hair staying the same style, or even a different hair color than the other females would have made the connection clear and prevented me from rewinding and fast-forwarding to verify what I was thinking. I also found there were more characters with little moments than necessary. It bogs down the experience with the viewer having a partial focus on, do I have to remember that person? Is that the person that _____ or another person? Passing some of the moments on to other established characters would have created a smoother story.
At a base level, this is a movie plot that has been used before. It does go deeper into the characters’ stories than most looking at where loyalties lie and how deep they run. Sadly this creates a tripping hazard between telling the characters’ stories and providing a lot of action. There is a balance to be found and I will continue to watch Kaufman’s films to see the moment where he finds that balance.
Director: William Kaufman
Written By: William Kaufman, Paul Reichelt
Cast: Clayne Crawford, Max Martini, Nicoye Banks, Juliene Joyner
MPAA Rating: Not yet rated.
Selig Rating: 3 stars
Runtime: 1h 35m
Release Date: July 14, 2023
Trailer: The Channel Official Trailer
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.
4 Stars – Good movie/show
3 Stars – OK movie/show
2 Stars – Well there was nothing else . . .
1 Star – Total waste of time.