City Loop (2000) / Drama-Comedy
MPAA Rated: Not rated, but would be R for strong sexual content and language
Running Time: 78 min.
Cast: Sullivan Stapleton, Ryan Johnson, Kellie Jones, Brendan Cowell, Hayley McElhinney, Megan Dorman, Jessica Napier, Dorian Nkono
Director: Belinda Chayko
Screenplay: Stephen Davis
Review published November 3, 2003
City Loop follows a day in the life of the workers at an Australian fast-food and pizza joint, showcasing their petty squabbles, affairs, and boredom-induced mischief. The film spotlights each of the employees in turn, in mostly non-linear fashion, starting off with Dom throwing a tantrum that culminates in him making his own pizza out of a dead cat. Yes, it is not the way you want to start off a movie.
Other storylines include Misha's attempt to lose his virginity, Katie's management and affair, Robert and Erin's struggling relationship, and former employee-of-the-month Stacey's breaking out of her boredom to do a little thrill-seeking.
City Loop is mostly without much in purpose, save to offer up a sensationalistic depiction of today's bored youth. It lacks a real poignancy that other more recent films of a similar ilk have tried to do, such as the far more effective Better Luck Tomorrow, and the result is a potentially interesting idea gone amiss with unsuccessful execution. The film's narrative structure proves to be its most interesting idea, but even that has been done before, most similarly in another better film, Go.
With two better films already mentioned, I would say that the bases are already covered, so why settle for a poorly shot, low-budget misfire like City Loop? Some people will probably turn it off after the cat baking. I also had an impulse to, but decided to tough it out. I should learn to stick with my impulses.
©2003 Vince Leo