Friday, June 6, 2014

3-Mile Limit (2014): Perpetuating the Baby Boomer Rebel Mythos

3-Mile Limit (2014)
dir: Craig Newland

SIFF 2014 Film #9

Stop me if you've heard this one. Some people want to push a new musical development. But, they face an oppressive dominant force who wants to use all their power to shut them down. They battle for the freedom to do what they want...and you can probably figure everything out.

3-Mile Limit is the latest to use this formula, placing Richard Davis in the leading role as a journalist who is determined to bring rock and roll to New Zealand, even though the New Zealand government refuses to play it. Davis is up against Minister Willis, who is a minister of both Radio and the oceans. Davis' idea is to get a boat and an illegal transmitter and broadcast off the coast of New Zealand, in international waters.

Yes, it's the New Zealand edition of Pirate Radio (aka The Boat That Rocked). But, this one is supposed to be based on the story of a real radio station, Radio Hauraki. That should be loosely based, because Richard Davis is a fictitious creations specifically for the movie, and the movie condenses what was originally a 2-year endeavor into what seems like a handful of months, especially because it is constantly an election year for Minister Willis.

The fictionalization of the Radio Hauraki story is really facile, obeying the usual formula to a T. There's even a few love interests that are inserted to have a female character that isn't just a secretary (this was 1966, after all). But, the love story feels too easy and completely fitting with the formula that we've followed before.

Craig Newland doesn't bring anything new to the table. The movie is lightly witty, lightly tense, and just plain pedestrian. It isn't visually interesting. It isn't paced in an original manner. It doesn't have any powerhouse performances or characters. It just sort of exists, like oatmeal. It's safe and easy.

What 3-Mile Limit really does is serve to pacify old people into believing that they were the original rebels for listening to rock n roll. OMG, it was completely against government! We were so bold! And, we forced the government to change to us! It really is the baby boomers completely filling themselves up with tales of their past rebelliousness, and saying they're justified in ruling the world because they rebelled so hard!

Which makes 3-Mile Limit tripe. Complete and utter FICTIONAL tripe.

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