Starring: Neil Breen, Klara Landrat, Jennifer Autry
Director: Neil Breen
Running Time: 100 mins
Fateful Findings is an American film about a novelist who, while working on hacking government databases to expose corruption, reunites with his childhood friend as he explores the magical powers he gained as a young boy.
Sitting right on the fine line between so-bad-it’s-good and just plain terrible, Fateful Findings is far from the easiest watch, yet it’s not an entirely painful mess either.
Of course, the story doesn’t make a lick of sense, the acting is awful, and the production quality is poor. But, as far as badly-made movies go, there’s a lot to laugh at here, and that – for better or for worse – makes it a slightly more tolerable watch.
Lead actor, writer and director Neil Breen seems like the kind of guy who’s got a lot of imagination, a good chunk of money, but not the most filmmaking talent. On the plus side, that means he can let his wildest ideas run free in the form of a totally non-sensical story, but on the downside, it means his films are rather difficult to watch. And understand.
Fateful Findings is in every way a bad movie. There’s no two ways about it. Above all, the plot is totally unintelligible, following the story of a man who’s a novelist/expert computer scientist hacker who is simultaneously bringing down the government and hanging around with his childhood crush.
Those two diverging story lines never (and I mean never) link together, with the random jumps between them not only abrupt but downright disorienting. Couple that with a collection of side characters whose relation to Breen is incredibly vague, and it’s really difficult to find a solid footing with Fateful Findings.
The pacing is all over the place, the editing is atrocious, the camerawork is uncomfortably amateurish (tops of people’s heads chopped off, unnecessary close-ups), and the acting is disappointing right across the board. Most are more energetic than Neil Breen, but nobody sets the screen alight here.
And with all of that, it’s clear that Fateful Findings isn’t a film that will offer any genuine entertainment. But you can laugh at how bad it is, and it’s fortunately just mad enough that it’s an enjoyably terrible movie.
From the ridiculous plot to Breen’s insane perception of himself as some bizarre combination of a god, a freedom fighter, a tech whiz and a romantic, Fateful Findings just gets weirder and weirder as it goes on, pulling you into a preposterous and unintelligible land of fantasy that’s never fully explained.
Why does Breen have magical powers? Why does he only use them twice in the movie just to walk through doors? Why is his childhood best friend now seemingly a third of his age? Why has a teenage girl apparently been flirting with him before? And how the hell does he manage to call an impromptu press conference before the world’s media in Washington DC to expose government corruption?
There are so many questions that this movie throws up, and it answers none of them. The plot is random and aimless, and the film is badly made throughout.
But, while it’s without doubt an objectively terrible movie, Fateful Findings is one of those rare piles of garbage that you can’t help but love. It’s utterly ridiculous and totally non-sensical, but really good fun to laugh at. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 2.0 overall.