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Fantasia 2011: ‘The FP’ runs wild on video game logic, hip-hop slang, and 80’s ephemera

Fantasia 2011: ‘The FP’ runs wild on video game logic, hip-hop slang, and 80’s ephemera

The FP

Directed by Brandon & Jason Trost

Screenplay by Brandon Trosh

2011, USA

A completely straight-faced parody/tribute with an amalgam of pop-culture signifiers, boasting the slogan “Shit’s tough in the FP,” this certifiably offbeat campfest takes aim at many different targets -video game culture, inner city gangs, Hip Hop slang, ravers, techno music and even underdog sports films.

The film opens with an early-80’s-style scroll and narration to set the tone: a vaguely post-apocalyptic near future (or alternate universe), where gangs compete for street cred by battling each other with a bastardized version of Dance Dance Revolution not-too-subtly called Beat Beat Revolution. For years an underground war has raged for dominance over the small town of Frazier Park between two clans: The 248 from the north and the 245 from the south. When JTRO (Jason Trost) loses his brother BTRO (Brandon Barrera) in a Beat Beat Revolution match, he swears off the life of underground battles, until KCDC (Art Hsu) forces him out of retirement to take The FP back from the 248. Word!

And from there, The FP becomes a cantankerous parody of Hollywood conventions, following the sports movie formula with sincere disrespect. Feeding off hackneyed plot points and story devices and bending them to fit within the film’s universe, The FP shamelessly and successfully recycles the adrenaline rush of 80s American blockbusters. There are Rocky-esque training montages, and there is a rekindled romance between our hero and Stacy (Caitlyn Folley), a former JTRO fan with a heartfelt sob story. Patterning itself off of movies like The Warriors, The Wiz, Robocop, Escape from New York, and The Wanderers, The FP is fast, furious and all attitude.

The debut feature by the Trost Brothers is a mad and infectious rush of quick-draw humour and gamer references wrapped around relentless genre indulgences that grow by the minute – all gleefully over-the-top, but played very straight. Knowing self-mockery is the name of the game, and knowing the filmmakers know that they are not making a “good” film is all the fun.

What really makes The FP special, however, is the look and language. The dialogue turns urban street slang into a cryptic lingo. The Trost brothers (Jason and Brandon) have exaggerated rap dialect and imported it to a dystopian setting. The result is aggressively profane, at times obnoxious, yet sincere and entertaining all the way through. Some less adventurous moviegoers might be put off by its loud, boisterous performances and irresponsible characters, but this a film that shouldn’t be taken seriously. The FP is juvenile, possibly offensive, and packed with enough cheese to supply Quebec’s poutine industry for an entire week. The costumes are top-notch, with gangs decked out in assortment of 80’s kitsch – sporting mohawks, leather jumpsuits, jean jackets, eyepatches and gold rimmed teeth. It’s a mad mad world of Double Dragon meets Escape’s Snake meets The Wiz, by way of Dizzee Rascal in place of Rocky Balboa with a side-dish of The Outsiders and a entree of hipster cred.

The FP began as a short film, and while it might not initially seem to have the legs to support a feature-length, the package of dance-dance, pop culture, techno beats and video game fun, nonetheless makes you laugh at its sheer bold novelty and forget the clock.

Video games taught a generation to fight for what they want. The FP teaches you that blowjobs make a healthy substitute for kissing.

Ricky D

Visit the official Fantasia Film Fest website