List Film

Electric Man (3 stars)

A patchy, if well intentioned, Edinburgh-set comic comedy

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Electric Man

(12A tbc) 98min

Shot in Edinburgh on a micro-budget, comic shop comedy Electric Man declares its intentions from the off: this is to be no social realist kitchen sink drama, typical of the UK film industry, but rather a light-hearted love-letter to the graphic novel. While its heart is always in the right place, the film’s means of expressing itself are in need of some refinement.

Jason (Toby Manley) and Wolf (Mark McKirdy) are two slacker comic shop employees on the brink of eviction. Their money problems appear solved when they accidentally come into possession of an extremely rare and valuable comic – the titular Electric Man – but they’re not the only ones expressing interest: an obsessive collector (Mark McDonnell), a mystery woman (Jennifer Ewing) and a Glasgow heavy (Derek Dick, aka Fish-fae-Marillion) are hunting for it too.

The film bears many resemblances to cult Channel 4 sitcom Spaced: it’s packed with comic-loving characters, larger-than-life villains and reference-heavy dialogue. What the film lacks is the TV show’s near flawless pacing – Electric Man’s plot becomes unnecessarily convoluted in the second half and many sparky exchanges between characters are sapped of energy by clunky editing.

Elsewhere though, Electric Man shines: Edinburgh has never looked prettier and some sequences – including a hair-raising up-kilt shot, the animated opening credits and a stunt-filled bike chase – are pulled off with aplomb. It’s not a perfect film by any standards, but at the very least it deserves to generate a little buzz.

CCA, Glasgow, Thu 23 Feb. Part of Glasgow Film Festival.

Electric Man - Trailer 1

Electric Man

  • 3 stars
  • 2011
  • Scotland
  • 98 min
  • Directed by: David Barras
  • Written by: David Barras, Scott MacKay
  • Cast: Toby Manley, Mark McKirdy, Jennifer Ewing

Impoverished comic shop employees Jason (Manley) and Wolf (McKirdy) accidentally acquire a rare and valuable comic, not knowing that others are hunting it too. This light-hearted love-letter to the graphic novel has an unnecessarily convoluted plot and some clunky editing but plenty of shining moments, and Edinburgh has…

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