Agent Jayden Hill has a dream of starting up a school where he can train teenagers to become super secret agents. They then must travel back in time in order to stop an evil Doctor in Clay Moffatt’s independent spy film Pocketman and Cargo Boy.
Clay Moffatt has been featured on this very website on numerous occasions with reviews of such films as Silver Woods, Star Man and The October Flowers. All of which were low budget, yet enjoyable independent feature films. Now he returns with the feature film Pocketman and Cargo Boy – a myriad of the superhero and espionage genres. Now, to finish a feature film at all these days is a fantastic achievement in itself and we have nothing but respect for the filmmakers of the world who manage to do this. Moffatt seems to take the difficult task and achieve what many could only wish for, and he does so with little-to-no money at all.
Pocketman and Cargo Boy is a movie that has undoubtedly been made with its tongue firmly in its cheek and with a lot of love by its cast and crew. They were obviously having a lot of fun while they were making the film, but the end product is a mishmash of styles, with a number of sound, lighting and strange camera shots that are very distracting to the eye.
The film opens with a raid by Agent Jayden Hill (Ben Edwards) and his two partners Agents Reese and Decker, on the warehouse HQ of the maniacal supervillain Pyro Ed, played with relish by Damien Michael Pearsall whose performance is pitched somewhere up in the echelons between Chris Cooper’s bad guy from The Muppets, Tex Richman and any number of WWE wrestlers. Every time Pearsall appears on screen he literally chews the scenery as if he were a dog with a Tim Curry flavoured bone. Meanwhile, the government agents, who all wear black suits with black ties except for Agent Hill who for some reason also wears an oversized baseball cap with a bright red flame pattern on it, are tracking a stolen diamond that Pyro Ed has in his possession. Once they recover the diamond, that story arc is completely forgotten about it and we jump straight into the main plot.
Agent Hill has an idea about starting up a school where, alongside the usual subjects of Maths and English, he will teach teenagers how to become super spies so they can be recruited as new blood for the agency. He pays a visit to his superior officer, wearing the baseball cap, who reluctantly agrees to his idea. We follow Hill creating his perfect spy school as he interviews students and teachers, including maths tutor Brandon Barve, played by William Kenny who has a ball in his scenes. We then follow the journey of the students as they are taught all of Hill’s spy secrets along with survival tips that include martial arts and using ground-breaking technology like time travel. The fact that there are only two students who go to Hill’s school is never questioned and neither is Hill’s constant wearing of his baseball cap in almost every one of his scenes in the movie.
The final 30 minutes sees yet another jump in the plot as the school is attacked and then the time travel aspect begins as the young students and two teachers have to go back in time to stop what causes the attack in the first place. Although this is the more interesting part of the film for some reason the lighting is so dark that you can barely make out what is going on and it becomes very confusing.
There are a number of fight sequences throughout the run-time that liven up the story and they are performed admirably enough, while there are a few special effects dotted about that differ in quality from adequate to bad.
Unfortunately, despite there being some good things about Pocketman and Cargo Boy, like an enjoyable end credits sequence and a cast who are likeable enough, the movie does suffer from some flaws that cannot be ignored. As stated before in previous reviews, Moffatt does show promise, but one cannot wish that each film, scene, and shot was crafted before pressing record on the camera. Blocking, lighting, and framing are important aesthetics and a little more time on each could have elevated the production to completely new heights.