Written and directed by Adam Weber, a hit man and his potential protégé are tasked with burying a body in the countryside but the seemingly simple job takes an unexpected turn. Starring: Tim Hawkins, Marc Clement and Anton Schrama.
Being a hit man, the last thing you’re going to want is a protégé who has no clue what to do with a dead body, especially one who proves that being overprepared is not always a good thing. Steve (Schrama) is the ultimate example of some people simply not being suited to certain jobs, although it’s hard to pin down what job he would be suited for given how truly inept he is. Credit has to go to Schrama for convincingly getting across how absolutely clueless he is and his relentless and unfounded positivity and enthusiasm. Especially in how he comes across as more of a puppy dog than annoying or frustrating, portraying him as more of a nice guy who’s lived a sheltered life and should probably stick to something simple, not involving weapons. Clement as his hit man mentor Darryl similarly ticks all the right boxes, he’s lacking in patience or sympathy, he’s forthright and mean.
Its opening sets the tone more of an ‘on the road’ style film but all the very obvious defects of Steve’s car subtly give away that he’s perhaps not longed to be the most cool of customers. Switching gears into comedy is an unusual change in tone, it works but it’s not necessarily a smooth turn from one to the other. The comedy however is then consistent throughout the rest of the film and the writing paces it out nicely to keeps the jokes coming right until the credits. Although it does feel like there’s something missing to make the comedy hit harder, the jokes land but the impact could be stronger. It potentially could have used a darker edge or a little grit to push it further and balance the tone between crime and comedy.
Weber’s direction, along with Nick Berry-Smith’s cinematography crafts a varied and sharp visual, mixing more squarely framed shots with rougher close-ups that both feeds into the comedy and adds different layers to the aesthetic. The style keeps you focused on its characters while the setting adds a sense of isolation, the lighting also does well to really highlight the actors without losing an authentic feel or stepping over into artificial territory. It’s an aspect which seems minimal but having a middle of the night scene with bad lighting takes away from tone completely, but here it’s actually adding to the feel of the film and its clandestine nature.
The Body is funny, chock full of pop-culture references and an entertaining turn of events. It’s well paced, uses its humour consistently throughout and while it could be smoother in parts and it would have been great to see it embrace more of its dark side, it’s a satisfying 12-minutes.