Amber Alert (2012)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
“Move Car!” – Sam.

So, once in a blue moon, I like to scan through Netflix and find some movie I’ve never heard of and check it out. I usually pick some kind of topic that interests me and cross my fingers. So I thought, hey, another found footage amateur movie that no one has heard of wouldn’t hurt right? Heck, we don’t get enough of those. I’m just messing, Amber Alert is the film I fell into, and I’m not going to say the movie as a whole was any good, but it’s one of those movies that is just so bad that it is good. I’ll also admit there were good aspects to the film for what it was.

Okay, so these two friends, Sam and Nate, are trying to audition for some reality show. I’m not entirely sure what kind of show they’re going for, so I guess that part doesn’t matter. What matters is that they are filming their day as it passes…which I guess is important for the audition. Anyway, while on a highway, they see an Amber Alert over every other bridge. It defined a car that conveniently was driving right next to them. So they take it to be their civil duty to follow this guy, sneak a wireless microphone in the back of his car, and cross their fingers that the little girl in the back of his car will turn out okay. The police in this film are practically useless, so this is more or less a underdog film.

Whoo-wee. What a stinker. I hate to actually say that, because so much of this film reminds me of my own movie franchise, Buck and Drake. The only difference is that the film is trying to be serious while mine was a mockumentary made to make laughs…but enough about my movie. Make no mistake, you cannot and will not be able to take these characters seriously. If you try, you will be incredibly frustrated and end up hating them, because they can come off as annoying. The reason is because this is a single-camera flick, the whole thing takes place in the car – so they have to fill up the time with a lot of bickering and trying to figure stuff out (probably unscripted as well). I suggest highly that you don’t take it seriously. Laugh at them, I did. I know it’s kind of mean, and they weren’t going for laughs, but it’s funny. It’s funny because they are trying to be serious and they fail magnificently. Also, you can’t sell a movie as raw footage when every logo is blurred out and there is a musical title sequence in the beginning. Also, blurring out the license plate of the bad guy isn’t the best idea…I know, low budget privacy measures, but you lose a bit of the attempted thrill.

I am really glad that I can make fun of this movie because that means I actually had fun watching it. If I was gun-hoe about reviewing this movie entirely based on regular film, this would get a very low score. However, I know how hard it is to make a movie, and thus, I can appreciate some of the things done in the movie. They at least somewhat knew of how to make the movie look good, so many amateurish film have no idea what it means to make a movie look good, and how much that actually helps a film in the end run. Also, they were able to either get an actor to play a cop or get a cop to act, either way, something I could never do. Also, it may not seem like much, but when something that seems this amateurish breaks an actual window in the film, that’s actually kind of impressive. Tells me they had funds enough to pay for a replacement window.

Also, this is probably my most important blessing for the film – it had a very good premise. How many times have we seen a found-footage film be about ghosts or something else paranormal? This is something much more on a realistic scale theoretically speaking. Something we haven’t seen before, which makes this film original. A lot of the film tactics used in the movie are also pretty smart when getting an emotional response from the audience. It’s just that the acting is really stupid, I’m sorry. The characters are forgettable, there’s nothing special about them, and most might complain about the whining coming from Sam. I don’t believe their acting for a second, which is half of the reason why I was laughing throughout the movie. Yeah, I felt bad about that, but at the same time, I was glad that I was somewhat enjoying myself. I wish that this was an idea used on a more professional-level Hollywood film, because it’s not a terrible idea…but this is what you get.

This film isn’t for everyone. In fact most will hate it aggressively. I connected with it because I’ve done something creepily similar and know how hard it is to make a movie, and I commend them on their hard work regardless of the fact that this film was kind of laughable. I appreciate them, but Amber Alert, as I’ve mentioned, is definitely not for everyone.

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