Apocalypse Clown ★★★

Apocalypse Clown ★★★

Despite having some great moments, Apocalypse Clown falters from being just too uneven throughout its unnecessarily long run time. However, Natalie Palamides is utterly fantastic and worth the ticket price alone.

When a mysterious technological blackout plunges Ireland into anarchy and chaos, a group of failed washed-up clowns are forced to traverse the country for one last shot at their dreams.

There are moments throughout Demian Fox’s, Shane O’Brien’s and George Kane’s script that really works. Jokes often come quick and fast, with you getting little time to acknowledge what just happened in between the laughs; add to this a premise that should work like gangbusters. We have a film that should be a simple winner, but it just isn’t as good as you want it to be. Even with the great spurts that we get, it never holds the audience throughout, which for a film like this, it really needs to.

The main strength of Apocolypse Clown is the performance of Natalie Palamides. She is the actual standout as the unhinged Funzo; her performance just makes the film more alive. So when the group separates, and we lose her for portions of the film, we really come to miss her. She brings pure chaos, and you would happily watch a movie of whatever the hell she gets up to instead. The rest of the cast is fine, with David Earl stereotypically portraying how we most likely think all clowns are in real life: a total and utter sad sack.

The difference it feels with the rest of the cast and Palamides performance is that the rest just performed their character as written and added nothing else, whereas Palamides is in her element throughout. This gives the film one of its significant struggles: it is maddingly uneven.

The balance simply isn’t there for this type of film; it is neither as absurd as it needs to be or as dry as it, at times, tries to be considering the premise that it puts forth. By trying to keep both sides tonally, the film loses itself a touch. By having the characters jump from one situation to another, you are more likely to get a form of whiplash. At times, you just want Apocalypse Clown to settle down for a moment and allow the jokes to breathe. Still, even when it tries to do that, the odd fumble occurs, and we instead get scenes that drag themselves out for far too long.

This results in the main crux of the film; it is simply too long for the story it is trying to tell. There are multiple moments throughout the film that could simply be cut out without hurting the overall piece in any way. By running over 100 minutes for a comedy like this, you have to have energy for it all. Considering only one of the cast is going for it in Palamides, that is a major issue.

Despite that, though, there is still an enjoyable time to be had here; the concept is fun and with such a committed cast, it was never going to be a bad film. It is a truly unique little film that will entertain you. Now give us that solo Funzo film; the world needs her anarchy.

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