By Ryan McPherson
On the surface, Watch Over Me is just like half of all the other action films you’ve watched over the years. At a superficial level there isn’t much differentiating it from its contemporaries. While it would’ve been easy to dismiss it as a wannabe popcorn flick, a deeper look proves Watch Over Me actually has a lot to offer.
The film comes across as your standard, run-of-the-mill, mob tale. A girl’s father had serious debts with the wrong people and she has to find a way to pay them back. Lucky for her, she happens to run into a guy facing his own demons, who has had enough of being pushed around. He’s dark, brooding, and quite peeved by all the nonsense. Oh and I should probably mention: he’s great at giving and getting beatings.
If this all sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen stories like this for centuries. Why is this different?
Two words: Oliver Park.
Park is the star and producer of the film, and someone you should definitely be looking out for in the coming years. Not only is he talented, but he has everything you could want in a leading man. He has good range, solid timing, undeniable charisma, and he’s that edgy style of handsome that rarely goes unnoticed. He throws this film on his back at times and even through the most familiar feeling scenes, he makes it impossible to unglue from the screen.
As cliché as it could seem at times, the film definitely thrives on its action sequences. The choreography of the fight scenes were outstanding. Credit has to given to Simon Pearce who wrote, edited, and directed the film, for creating such realistic and believable action. At no point did I feel I was watching a staged altercation. A good fight scene can be difficult in the biggest of films; for an independent production to pull it off with almost flawless execution was impressive. In a 30 minute film, close to half the run time was filled by fight sequences; good fight sequences. We’re talking pool cues, broken windows, knives, throwing people around fight sequences. Had they gone with more of a fist fight, hide the violence off camera style, this film would be easy to dispose of. Instead I found myself watching scenes over and over again in awe.
What Watch Over Me might lack in originality, it certainly made up for in style points. By the end I didn’t care if this was like something I had seen before, I wanted someone to pass the popcorn and hit play again.