Saturday, 25 January 2020

Harpoon (2019)

"Tightly plotted, splendidly made suspense thriller"

Three friends on a boat trip encounter deception, disaster and death in Rob Grant's tightly plotted HARPOON, now getting a Blu-ray release from Arrow.
Richard (Christopher Gray) is rich and has a terrible temper. Sasha (Emily Tyra) is Richard's long-suffering nurse girlfriend. Jonah (Munro Chambers) is Richard's much more poorly off best friend. When Richard intercepts a text message from Sasha to Jonah he immediately jumps to the conclusion that she and Jonah are having an affair and as a consequence beats Jonah up. But no! They were just discussing the purchase of Richard's birthday present - a harpoon gun. 

By way of an apology, Richard takes them for a day trip on his boat, where unfortunately for all three it turns out Jonah and Sasha have actually been seeing each other. Much smashing up of radio equipment and throwing off the boat of useful things later, and the three find themselves stranded at sea in a boat that doesn't work with only half a small pot of drinking water and a couple of mustard sachets for food. Richard is convinced someone will pick them up. No-one does.

A three hander that never lets up for its 82-minute running time, HARPOON starts off deceptively cocksure, with a voice-over narration that could have overbalanced everything but which you realise as you go along is just right. Thinking you're in for a shouty comedy means that when events take a darker turn they're all the more effective, and the director's original pitch of 'Seinfeld meets KNIFE IN THE WATER' is a perfect description.
Arrow's Blu-ray comes packed with extras. It premiered at London's Frightfest last year and you can relive the experience with the intro and Q&A that took place there (and you get to hear my voice at one point - now you want the disc, don't you?).

There are two commentary tracks. The first is with writer-director Grant and his two producers. Grant ingests magic mushrooms and goes solo for the 'Director's Psychedelic Commentary' which, considering that, is remarkably focused and far less deranged than you might be expecting.

You also get a 30 minute making of, deleted scenes, B-roll footage (with commentary), Frightfest interviews, a trailer and reversible sleeve. The first pressing comes with a booklet with new writing on the film from Amy Simmons. HARPOON was one of the best movies of last year (it's on the HMC Top 20) and is fully deserving of this extras-packed presentation. 

Rob Grant's HARPOON is out on Region B Blu-ray from Arrow on Monday 27th January 2020

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