By Felix Vasquez Jr. | April 11, 2007

“Saul Goodman” is an October Surprise in every sense of the word.
Here’s why “Saul Goodman” is going to surprise you: two people, late at night, who’ve both missed their train. Whiling away the time, one of them, an older gent, begins recounting stories of his days on a political campaign to the younger, a college student with a head for numbers. The stories, which go from a hit-and-run standoff all the way up to the discovery of a fourth primary color, grow increasingly bizarre. More interestingly, they all begin to subtly (and not-so-subtly!) interlink, sharing common elements.Up until the very end, where a surprise lies waiting like an explosive charge hidden inside a phone book.

Let me start by saying that the quality of the computer animation used to build the entire “Saul Goodman” world is pretty solid. Sure, it’s not Squaresoft grade–any Final Fantasy devotee knows that Square / Enix is pretty much the gold standard of CG, but “Saul Goodman” is doing a pretty solid job of things. And frankly, my mind’s still boggling a little over the mapped-out calculations involved in figuring out how fast a car was going in a hit-and-run. I’m not kidding, either…they actually ran a computer simulation of a woman getting hit by a car, and showed, on screen in white chalk-like text, the exact method of computing her launch velocity and the velocity of the car involved.

For a half-hour series of three stories, it’s gallows humor at its very best. It’s dark, but it’s laden with comic glee of the blackest sort up until the very end, where the dark comedy suddenly loses its clown, and we discover that all the jokes were quite real. And quite deadly. Even better, they follow it up with a twist ending worthy of “Usual Suspects”. Keyser Soze’s got a whole lot of nothing on Saul Goodman, depending on one critical bit of easily overlooked information to launch a massive and startling surprise. All in all, for a monster surprise, go and get a copy of “Saul Goodman”. Proving conclusively that a fantastic plot will salvage a mediocre execution every time, “Saul Goodman” could very well be the start of something big.

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