I was really hoping Plunder Quest was going to be a fun project to watch and I think producers Kalani and Stefanie Hubbard pulled it off for the most part.
The story begins with Thomas Waters, played by Jake Fallon, doing a not-so Indiana Jones like impression of a current day collector trying to sell some “treasures” to pay his bills to keep his apartment in the concrete jungle of New York City.
Like Indiana Jones, comedy ensues Thomas Waters pretty much around every corner, but unlike Indiana Jones, Thomas Waters, might have a good heart deep down inside, but I didn’t love his character as much, but Indiana Jones is a high bar. With Thomas Waters, to me, there was just too much of a “the world is out to screw me” attitude instead looking inward to figure out why is all this craziness happening to himself.
The story continues with Thomas Waters discovering a plan to make some cash to answer all his money problems and finding a very likable companion, Amber; an easy going, taking it one day at a time, waitress, played by Katherine Flannery, to join in on the adventure.
At times I really didn’t understand the devotion that Amber gave to Thomas Waters pretty much right off the bat. I wish writer/director Kalani Hubbard wouldn’t have made her character be so, I don’t know if subservient is the right phrasing, but maybe forgiving, to Thomas Waters and his actions through-out much of the movie. But by the end of the adventure, there was growth by both characters, so that saved the day enough.
Just sticking with the another thing that I wish would have been done better, was the setting of the final act. There was such a build up of getting to the destination to find the treasure that was going to save the day, and when they finally got to the island, it just looked too new and you were reminded that of course it wasn’t going to live up to the mystery. I think, the whole adventure up to this point, you kind of got lost in these goofy out of place and not of this time characters, and then bam, again right back to reality. Believe me, I know this was more of a production thing, and if the producers had all the money in the world, things would have been different, but I think they could have done some things to dumb down the location, that could have made the final setting better.
Overall, I really did like and enjoy Plunder Quest. For IndieMR submissions, this was a very adventurous undertaking of a project, and truly one of a kind. I would love it if more of the projects submitted were like this, but again, their are reasons that more projects aren’t so ambitious. I think the producers danced a line, but managed to create a fun story that took you on a interesting adventure with some interesting and likable characters.
Like the story, there was a lot to like about the technical execution of the project. The camera work, by Dustin Ward, was great for the most part. Some of the bar, darker and tight set scenes reminded you that yes this was an independent project, because limited access and tight and dark locations, really take a lot to make look as good as the day time outdoor scenes.
But with that said, there were a lot of cool locations that really added to the production value of the project. But conversely, as expressed in the review, there was this great aerial shot of the island and castle as they arrive to their destination of the final act, but the problem here, this old castle has been reinforced with new structural support beams propping up the walls and also has the name in big letters across the front of the castle, which really made it look not mysterious. So they had this cool island aerial shot, but it almost did more bad than good. And the basement of the castle was another thing. The basement looked cleaner than most basements of any regular old stone house. Again, I know there is so much that goes into getting a project made, but would have liked to get those things dirtied up, and that could have went a long way.
The sound, edit, score, fx, was pretty good. There was stuff here and there, that could have been done better. Thinking back now, I wish somebody would have gaffed some foam, or placed a shoe or anything, to the below deck cabin door banging back and fourth in the one scene, so there was some issues here and there, but again, pretty good for the most part.
If I am being tough, it’s because there was a lot of good, so it’s easier to find the things that weren’t on point. But overall the good really outweighed the negative, so the cast and crew should be proud of the job they did on Plunder Quest and I’m looking forward to more projects by this team.