Published on September 10th, 2014 | by Allan Brown0
The Paddy Lincoln Gang Review
Movie Review: The Paddy Lincoln Gang (2012)
Running Time: 90 mins
Director: Ben Jagger
Writers: Alistair Audsley, Dean S. Jagger
Cast: Dean S. Jagger, Joseph DiMasso, Richard Wagner, Amy Lawhorn, Demetri Watkins
“My name is Robert McCallister, Rob to most, Bubba to some, but never fucking Bob”, so says Rob McAlister (Dean S. Jagger) in director Ben Jagger’s low budget independent Rock n Roll venture, The Paddy Lincoln Gang.
The film follows Rob, the lead singer in an up and coming Rock n Roll band that teeters on the edge of success. However, reckless behaviour from band members Rick and Ed jeopardise their one shot of a major record deal.
As Rob tries to repair the damage done, tensions reach boiling point, and as relationships begin to break down, Rob’s mental state is left in an uncertain and precarious place.
The Paddy Lincoln Gang offers some inspiring production values, especially for a film with such a small budget, not to mention a gripping lead performance from promising newcomer, Dean S. Jagger. However, this is unfortunately were the admiration ends. Let down by a catalogue of oversights, The Paddy Lincoln Gang meanders its way through an unfocused narrative, were characters are ultimately defined by their ridged performances and their trite hollow dialogue, spat from a sloppy and uninspiring script.
The Paddy Lincoln Gang meanders its way through an unfocused narrative, were characters are ultimately defined by their ridged performances and their trite hollow dialogue
Too often the film breaks any flow of narrative or characterisation it has painfully mustered, to offer another collection of montages bathed in rock music. This leaves the film often feeling like nothing more than an extended music video.
Stylish cinematography and lighting showcase suburban L.A quite beautifully, and it’s these moments that keep the pulse of the film from flat-lining. However, it’s the films bold and inspired climatic third act that truly saves the film. This 20 minute section adds a much needed injection of pace, nail biting tension and uncertainty into the flow. It’s just a shame we have to wade through the monotony of the first 70 minutes to arrive there.
Indeed, the apparent concept for The Paddy Lincoln Gang was squeezed out from a 2009 short film named “A Night at Robert McAlisters”. It is said that most of the original film exists in the impressive final 20 minutes, which to me says it all.
While it is perhaps unfair to be over critical about a small independent picture with a budget of only $268,000, I can’t help but feel the international film festival circuit (with first time directors working with similar budgets) has presented far more focused and astute feature films in recent times.
Summary: Even with a strong lead performance and an inspired genre switching finale, The Paddy Lincoln Gang unfortunately fall’s victim to an overstretched and sloppy screenplay that is littered with sub-par performances. By the end, you will be wishing The Paddy Lincoln Gang had remained a short film.