You can complain about the government, you can complain about their policies, and injustices, our president and our tyranny on foreign countries—I sure do—but when it comes down to it, how far are you willing to go to change things? And what’s the right way? Such concepts are explored in “Wait Means Never” which shows the utterly ill-fated and misguided efforts of four people whom decide they want to change how things are done in a world of people complacent with our government corruption, but with very little effect. Director and writer Groves takes from films like “Anarchist Cookbook” and “Pump up the Volume” in which these four people attempt to change the system by what they conceive as a true effort, but discover it’s less than such when their control is taken from them.
Groves paints these people as mere anarchists who steal books from libraries, punch random people in the face (curiously), and plaster propaganda along walls of public places. Finally, once they’ve recruited another militant non-violent protestor, and a woman who may or may not be as tough as they think, they decide to go for the throat and kidnap an oil executive. Though, they’d never admit it to themselves, they’re anarchists seeking to change the system through militant procedure as a neo-Symbionese Liberation Army, but they just can’t recruit anyone to sit down and listen to them. Though, it’s true that dissent is the highest form of patriotism, what’s the point if you’re talking to an empty room?
And the four characters do so with the most misguided attempts and then discover the big twist that leads them to eventually turn on one another. The actors pull in very good performances including from David Hadyn Jones. But Grove’s opus is also terribly flawed with utterly pretentious and irritating narration from the characters through barely audible whispers, and relies on a very slow plot that’s based on build-up to something big, but that something never comes. And how is it an oil executive is so poorly guarded? Especially one that’s important enough to garner negotiations with the White House? One true caveat however is Grove’s lack of exploring both sides of the issue. Though, these people perceive big business oil as a bane on the world, what about how their hostage feels toward this issue.
Though, Groves does pull the twist and turn this from a movie about dissent, to a movie of self-destruction. Groves takes a tired and cliché concept and turns it in to a fascinating bit of a thriller. It’s intriguing to watch their self-destruction under their own petty squabbles and disagreements, and then we finally get to see what they’re all about in the stunning climax that ends as more a result of circumstance, and not of backbone. The ultimate question that’s posed is: are these people actually changing anything by this crime? The answer is all in your perspective of the climax. Though Groves has the basic idea down, he can never really seem to develop it with enough capacity, and while “Wait Means Never” is a competent thriller, it’s half-assed.