Greetings, readers, here I am again with the last film in the trilogy of screeners I received last week. If I seem to be just plowing through these, forgive me readers. I feel that if a filmmaker is willing to send out a screener for review, then the very least I can do in return is review it promptly and honestly. That being said, here we have the first film from Renegade Soul Films, FRONT MAN from writer/director Ray Genadry.
Tony Mari is the front man of a band on the rise. In a week’s time, they have a meeting with a major record label, hopefully to be signed and presented to the masses for aural consumption. In the meantime, they’re honing their sound and their repertoire performing at weddings. At one of these, Tony connects with Terri, a beautiful woman and wanna-be dancer, trapped in an abusive marriage to Monaco, an obese New York City mafiosa type.
Tony and Terri begin a discreet relationship, though when Monaco catches wind he puts out a hit on Tony. Injured, Tony hides out on a farm, sheltered by kindly farmer Pete, working as a farm-hand in exchange for room and board. Among other things, Pete teaches Tony to use a handgun.
As Terri files for divorce, Tony readies himself for a final conflict with Monaco…
I like it. I like it a lot. An elegant, straight-forward story of love, betrayal and vengeance, free from unnecessary bells and whistles. It moves smoothly, with excellent writing and believable yet still larger-than-life characters. Abe Danz is perfectly cast as singer-turned-farmhand-turned-vigilante Tony, while Karen Sours is fantastic in the role of sensual, leggy dancer Terri. And damned if I’ve ever seen anyone who looked as Mafia as Gaetano Iacono in the role of Monaco. It helps that he’s legitimately Sicilian.
I do, however, have to repeat my criticism from HOUSE OF BLACK WINGS this morning. At 100 minutes, FRONT MAN runs a little long and certain scenes could stand to be tightened up — particularly intercut sequences of the band rehearsing with their replacement front man.
Overall, though, I found this first offering from Renegade Soul to be fantastic and look forward to future films. And was that a nod to the Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire classic HOLIDAY INN I spotted in the finale? Either way, it was an excellent little addition to that scene.