“88” brings a devious Doc Brown and engaging Katharine Isabelle
Not gonna lie. I’ve been a Katharine Isabelle fan since “Ginger Snaps” back in 2000. The poster for “88” (pictured above) had me locked in before I even knew anything about the movie.
Ms. Isabelle doesn’t disappoint here, playing a single character driven into a fugue state that creates two distinct personalities: the femme fatale avenger Flamingo and the wide-eyed “WTF is happening to me?” innocent Gwen. The movie chronicles Isabelle as her two personalities piece together the truth behind the cause for her fugue state.
Was it the murder of her lover, or was it something more insidious?
Whatever the answer, Christopher Lloyd has something to do with it. Taking Doc Brown on a dark bender, Lloyd plays Cyrus, a criminal overlord with a penchant for girls and drugs. Isabelle’s character saw something she shouldn’t have which puts her in Cyrus’s deadly crosshairs.
Director April Mullen and her frequent collaborator, writer Tim Doiron, present the tale in an interesting fashion, weaving together Flamingo and Gwen’s stories in a “Pulp Fiction”-like maze.
Unfortunately, these aren’t really “Pulp Fiction” quality characters.
Doiron takes on acting duties as Ty, sidekick to Flamingo’s avenging rampage. Mullen also gets in on the acting action as arms dealer Lemmy, who has a flip sign denoting when it’s time for business or leisure. Both character are interesting in their zaniness, but both seem like characters from a wilder, less serious movie.
All the other characters (besides Isabelle and Lloyd) are mere variations on “stock indie thriller villain.”
Overall, “88” is a good Netflix watch just for Isabelle and Lloyd. Mullen and Doiron tell an interesting story, but I think this is just a preamble to what they can really do. Watch out for them in the future.