September 22, 2009
Review - " Interception " - (on DVD) By Roland Hansen
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Now, onto the bad news. The acting, writing and the directing in this picture are bad. Really bad. Even by low budget
standards, the dialogue is terrible, so much so that it's impossible to take any of this seriously. Most of the guilt falls squarely
on the shoulders of Mr. Buck Rodgers who is responsible for much of the film's supposed comic relief most of which just
seems to involve wise ass remarks and random bits of profanity. It isn't clever, it isn't charming, and it doesn't add anything of
interest to the story or the plot. The lead performances from the fairly wooden John Will Clay and the very pretty but equally
unimpressive Ashley Morgan don't do much to help things either.
The Clay Brothers were clever enough to use some nifty digital filmmaking techniques to compensate for their lack of funds
and a professional crew and it's pretty cool that they were able to, in many ways, make this movie look a lot more expensive
than it probably was to make. Unfortunately, slick editing, a random helicopter scene, an exploding boat and a cute and
curvy lead actress (whose wet T-shirt sequence should have been far more revealing than it was), while all very good things,
can't cover up the piss poor writing and awkwardly unfunny and uninspired performances.
Interception looks pretty good considering its obviously low budget and there's a fair bit of professional quality gloss. The
editing and cinematography are all competent - nothing great or innovative but it looks professional. Unfortunately, there's so
much horrible 'comic relief' in the script and completely terrible acting (or perhaps lack of any acting at all would be more
precise) that it's impossible to for what little good there is to outweigh the bad (and there certainly is ALOT of that!). This one
has moments, but the unfunny comedy really hurts the overall picture.
It’s the sort of homemade production you want to admire. But oh, how it repeatedly fails - tremendously, spectacularly,
embarrassingly - to the point where whatever admiration you want to give it is overwhelmed by the simple fact that as a
movie, it’s just no good. There is no room here for the softball approach. We can forgive amateur production values, but not
bad writing, and not bad acting.
There are moments here that sort of impress; thanks to digital filmmaking tools, the Clays pull off certain visual effects that
would have been impossible for such a budget a decade or two ago. But whatever goodwill such bits earn gets lost all too
quickly whenever we have to suffer through terrible acting (the cast appears peppered with friends of the directors, folks to
whom “kinda remembering all the lines” equates “good enough,” all speaking in gaudy southern accents) that exacerbates
the terrible dialogue (the lines seem written by the sort of C-student teenager to whom “you’re an asshole” is top grade
Even as a pure action flick, “Interception” doesn't work. Consider a boat chase late in the film, and the old adage that if you
show a gun early in a story, it must go off later, or else it is distractingly unnecessary. Ray finds a flare gun and a tank of
gas. He tosses the gas onto the bad guys’ boat, aims the gun - then puts the gun down as the bad guys jump off the boat.
Here, the Clays set up a spectacular stunt that never arrives. Why include it in the first place?
“Interception” is frustrating like that throughout, all those distractingly unnecessary moments, all those groaner clichés, all
those thickheaded scenes. It’s a homemade clunker trying to pass itself off as a big league blockbuster, and while a little bit
of inventiveness just might have made such an effort work, that little bit just isn't here. You go into “Interception” wanting to
give it a fair shake - and come out wishing you never did. Skip it.
Directed by: John Will Clay & Turner Clay
Starring: John Will Clay, Ashley Morgan, Bret Hopkins, Buck Rodgers
Written, directed, edited, produced, starring, and original song
composed by John Will Clay and Turner Clay, 2008's low budget
thriller, "Interception", tells the story of a software programmer
named Ray Mayfield (played by John Will Clay) who drives home
after being fired from his job. On the way, he comes across a nasty
car accident and stops to see if he can help. He comes across the
dying Dr. Bradford (Chris Roseland) who just so happens to have
the codes to a nuclear detonator that his half-assed assailants were
apparently after. Of course, once Ray gets the codes, the
murderous bad guys give chase and he winds up having to work
with an F.B.I. agent named Sarah Bradford (Ashley Morgan).
Ray and Sarah, with some help from Ray's pal Buck (played by a
guy named Buck Rodgers.... Seriously) find themselves in a race
against time to find the nuclear device and put a stop to whatever
sort of diabolical scheme the bad guys have put together. It won't be
easy, however, as Sarah's got an evil brother named Jack (Brett
Hopkins) who wants to blow up the city and sell the left over nuke
bits to terrorists.
"Interception" was made over two years with very little money by the
Clay Brothers, who show some obvious dedication and spirit for
simply having finished a fairly ambitious project such as this. There
are a couple of impressive moments that show that these guys do
have some talent including a few technically adept stunts, a nifty
exploding boat, and some solid camera work. It's a testament to the
Clay Brothers that they were able to accomplish this much.