Film Review: Muddled ‘Kalamity’ Plays One-Night Only Chicago Engagement

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Average: 5 (1 vote) Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

CHICAGO – There was a day not that long ago when it felt like Nick Stahl was the next rising star. He delivered nuanced performances in films and on HBO’s “Carnivale” that led one to believe there was potential for stardom. “The Thin Red Line,” “In the Bedroom,” “Bully” — he was going somewhere in the early ’00s, but he was derailed into basically nothing but straight-to-video junk like “Mirrors 2” since 2005’s “Sin City.” Does “Kalamity,” playing a one-night engagement at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago tonight, January 25th, 2011, represent a comeback or continued decline?

I won’t tease you any more by delaying the answer — it is definitely the latter. A muddled mess from the very beginning, “Kalamity” is a near-disaster, a work that offers glimpses yet again at the talent Stahl appears to have squandered but never once comes together into an entertaining piece of its own. With an overdone score, horrendous script, choppy editing, and bizarre tone changes, “Kalamity” is just weird in that B-movie, straight-to-video way that sometimes distinguishes films into the so-bad-it’s-good genre but not quite here. And when a movie falls short of that genre, it’s just bad.

StarRead Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Kalamity” in our reviews section.

Stahl plays Billy, a young man returning home to Virginia where he finds an old friend named Stanley (Jonathan Jackson) who appears to have gone crazy from the local heat and a break-up with a missing girlfriend. Billy tries to reconcile with an ex-girlfriend (Beau Garrett) and even speaks to her when she’s not there (raising instant “which one is the crazy one?” questions) but Stanley’s mental decline quickly takes center stage. Billy consults with Christian (the very-ineffective Christopher M. Clark), Stanley’s roommate, to try and figure out what the hell is going on and the script takes a few twists and turns.

Films with mysterious characters acting bizarrely must fulfill one key tenet — we must give a damn what’s happening to the characters in question. Stanley is an odd creation, a guy who behaves like a near-mental patient who we have no ties to other than through a lead that we have difficulty caring for as well because, well, he seems one card short of a full deck as well. Jackson has done decent work in the past, appearing as Kyle Reese in “The Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” but he’s miscast here, mistaking brooding and mopey for crazy.

StarContinue reading for Brian Tallerico’s full “Kalamity” review.

“Kalamity” stars Nick Stahl, Jonathan Jackson, Beau Garrett, Alona Tal, Christopher M. Clark, and Robert Forster. It was written and directed by James M. Hausler. It will play one night only at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago at 7:30pm on January 25th, 2011.

Photo credit: Screen Media Films

Anonymous's picture

This review is a bit of a

This review is a bit of a muddled mess. Kalamity was suspenseful and intelligent! From the engaging opening scene until the end of the film I was anchored in my seat with intrigue, this was a well crafted thriller! Nick Stahl and Jonathan Jackson were brilliant in their roles! Hausler knows what he’s doing. I left the film feeling extremely satisfied.

Anonymous's picture

I’ve seen the Kalamity and

I’ve seen the Kalamity and I can tell you is a medium quality movie, without a lot of impressive special effects or a very good screenplay. Is good to see with your girlfriend.

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