After the surreal trip into the nightmarish world that was “Mercy,” I was ready to watch almost anything director Patrick Roddy could serve up. Sadly “Red 71” is not much of a follow-up. For a Lynchian neo-noir film, it’s an interesting experiment but sadly one that doesn’t really live up to what Roddy is capable of cinematically. Production-wise, Roddy’s follow-up to “Mercy” looks rather good, with stark pastels that mesh perfectly with the strong score; it’s just a shame that “Red 71” feels like a short format film that was stretched into a seventy minute production with almost endless padding, characters introduced one after the other, dialogue that really goes nowhere, and sub-plots that meander from the central plot.
More so, Roddy seems often more concerned with striking that visual chord we’ve seen in the likes of “The Third Man,” as well as casting an unlikely hero to unveil this murder mystery, than actually bringing something of substance. When it’s all ended, there’s nothing taken away beyond the raised brows due to the striking cinematography.
Actor Nathan Ginn looks bored in spite of taking on the role as the hero of the story, as Roddy is almost too intent on bringing the same energy over from “Mercy” to the point where it feels like he’s repeating the same beats, except that the pacing and energy lag to where seventy minutes drag on to feel like hours.
Even with the likes of Angus Scrimm on board, “Red 71” is not much of a follow-up for a director like Roddy, and that makes it even more disappointing to walk away from.