Syrup Blu-ray Review
Based on the novel by Max Barry, SYRUP follows a young marketing graduate named Scat (Shiloh Fernandez from the EVIL DEAD remake) who is an idea man. Scat comes up with money making ideas but is lacking when it comes to the business savvy to actually make the money from the idea. His former roommate and fellow college pal Sneaky Pete (Kellan Lutz from TWILIGHT fame) knows a thing or two about image and taking the credit for other’s ideas. After Scat is double-crossed by Sneaky Pete losing out on couple of million dollars, Scat gets a second chance through a sexy corporate advertising executive named Six (seriously, who’s coming up with these names?) played by Amber Heard from THE RUM DIARY.
SYRUP has an interesting setup implying that advertising is all image without substance. However, this interesting and fairly true concept lacks too much substance of its own relying purely on the image, which consists of high fashion wardrobe for the cast and quick edits from director Aram Rappaport. Aided by the young cast and a New York City backdrop, SYRUP is not short on energy. But the film forgot its clever take applies to advertisement not film as SYRUP consists of short flashy moments that might work well for a trailer but nothing else.
The other problem is the ease in which the action flows. The story and characters have clearly been whittled down to make a brisk 90 minute movie. But the lack of character development and faceless business structure is more confusing than entertaining. Why were these guys friends and how is stealing millions of dollars from your struggling roommate considered just a business decision and not personal? Everything we know about the characters and the stories moral dilemmas don’t make a whole lot of sense requiring explanations that poorly told rather than shown.
Kellan Lutz is adequate as a character who doesn’t speak and just looks good. Is that how top advertising agencies really pick their executives? Amber Heard does a fine job wearing sleek sexy clothing balancing respectable business professional with intimidating womanly hotness. Clearly she has achieved this position from being coy about her real name and guarding her feelings toward Scat. The only person here who actually is require to act is Shiloh Fernandez who I can’t quite tell if he is obnoxious or just doing the best with what he has to work with from a poor script. But I have to give the cast credit as they were definitely giving it all they had to make something happen, even if that still isn’t a whole lot.
I’m not quite sure who the audience is for SYRUP as the film plays like a teenage rom-com but deals with R-rated adult material that they technically shouldn’t be watching. SYRUP has flashes of humor and clever narratives but overall lacks the very flavor it claims is unnecessary in their product.
Video: (MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p 2.39:1) A colorful vibrant picture with a clear image.
Audio: (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) Some of the dialogue audio is a bit inconsistent becoming quiet with the levels at times.
Interview with Executive Producer/Costume Designer Sophia Banks-Coloma (7:27): She discusses in detail the wardrobe choices for the characters and how important it was for the overall look of the film.
AXS TV: A Look at Syrup (2:55): A quick fluff piece about the film, quickly showcasing how the wardrobe and city were a second character.