here! TV, America's first gay, lesbian and transgender television network, features many film projects featuring up-and-coming talent.
And with the popularity of the James Bond and Jason Bourne films, I'm sure the question had been posed, "What if there was a spy-action thriller film featuring a gay hero?".
here! films decided to do just that with a George Schenck and Frank Cardea film, directed by Ron Oliver featuring the first gay spy thriller featuring Jacob Keane (played by "Queer as Folk" actor Robert Gant).
The film starts off in Berlin with three agents in a mission. Jacob Keane (Grant), Marta (Shannen Doherty) and Jared (Fraser Brown) on an undercover mission that goes wrong. From then on, everyone goes there separate ways.
Years later, Jacob is now a professional photographer taking photos of models and you find out that his working partner at the photo studio is his boyfriend and he is gay.
On that same day, it is Jacob's weekend to take care of his daughter and the two have a specially planned weekend until he gets home and receives a message on his answering machine from Marta, who sounds disturbed and in trouble and needs to meet with him.
Jacob leaves his daughter with his former girlfriend or wife (who is shown to also be gay) and heads to the airport to find Marta and realizes that she is being followed. Once he meets Marta, something is wrong because she doesn't even recognize who she is.
Although Jacob and Marta have been out of the spy agency for years, someone wants them dead. The film becomes a cat and mouse chase as Jacob and Marta try to escape and outwit the thugs that are after them and try to find out why Marta lost her memory and who wants them dead.
"Kiss Me Deadly" is an action-packed spy thriller that delivers. The storyline is engaging and Robert Gant definitely is convingly cast as a gay spy hero and does a great job as Jacob Keane.
After watching "Beverly Hills 90210' actress Tori Spelling on here! films "Kiss the Bride", I admit that I was surprised to find another 90210 an actress, Shannen Doherty, in another here! films project. It's safe to say that Shannen Doherty's reputation of a diva is quite well documented in the television industry but after watching her for years on television in a variety of roles, I wasn't sure if I could picture her in a film that dealt with international espionage. But she did a pretty good job playing the character of "Marta".
The film also stars actor John Rhys-Davies who plays the character of Dale who once was part of the spy agency and a person who may have clues on why Marta has lost her memory.
I also found the scouting locations for this film, with the budget that the filmmakers had to work with well-thought out and planned. Filmed in New Zealand, just with certain shots, the viewer definitely gets a feeling of Europe and overall, you get that good feel of international espionage because of the beautiful scenery of the lush greenery to the cool and hip areas where the film was shot.
AUDIO & VIDEO:
The film was shot in digital and featured in widescreen 16Î9. The audio selections are either digital 5.1 and 2.0.
The bonus features included on this DVD features a director's commentary by Ron Oliver. For film students, these are the kind of commentary you like to hear because Oliver definitely goes into details from casting, to props, you name it. Also, watching the film and having questions of certain scenes that he wishes he may or may have not used. So, the commentary definitely is worth listening to.
The "Backlot" is a 24-minute featurette featuring interviews with the cast members and how they saw the film, how it was working with the other cast members and working with director Ron Oliver. A really good behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.
Special features also include the trailer for the film.
I was very entertained by this film. As a big fan of spy-action thrillers, I was really impressed with the storyline. There is a lot of action, it was well-acted and most of all, when it comes to this genre, you need a gripping storyline where the action continues from beginning to end. "Kiss Me Deadly" delivers!
Robert Gant is definitely in a position to be the first gay spy agent Jacob Keane and I hope this film series continues because it definitely breaks new ground for a film that is a gay spy hero. Again, I'm sure people wondered what if there was a gay version of James Bond or Jason Bourne and so, you have it with Jacob Keane.
As for Shannen Doherty, she did a pretty good job in this role. And I really think that when Doherty is paired with a director that is able to work with her, especially on the delivery of some lines (which Doherty gave her ideas to Oliver and Oliver was cool enough to listen), she can deliver.
As for the film, with a good international spy thriller, along with the action, you have to have good locations. And the film crew did a good job in capturing that European feel. So, that was another plus that I found with the film.
Although I did enjoy the film, I did find some scenes rather unnecessary. There was a scene where Jacob Keane needed to get rid of his cell phone and so he sees a young guy at the bar and they go to a bathroom stall to fool around and Jacob puts the cell phone in his coat pocket. Now would an agent like Jacob Keane really have to go that far to get rid of a phone?
Another scene was at the bath house, I just felt that there were shots of naked men there just for the sake of having it in the film. I didn't object to the bath house, I just felt that certain scenes in the bath house went far too long in terms of pacing.
The other little quirk I had was with the agency. The agency plays a big part in this film and whereas spy films such as a 007 film or a Jason Bourne film, you know that it exists and the director (played by Jonathan Colton) is trying to find out why the agency's former operatives are either dead or in trouble. You don't get that sense of urgency and the agency, although not a big part in this film, you just see it lingering and makes you wonder, how powerful is this agency? The director does show up in certain scenes especially an important part at the end of the film. But definitely will expect to see more interaction with the agency and Jacob Keane in future films.
Frankly, I feel that Ron Oliver did a great job directing this film and George Schenck and Frank Cardea really wrote a pretty good script. They really did a good job in crafting a film around a gay spy. The character of Jacob Keane is a character that I hope to see again because there is a lot of potential in this character for future sequels.
Definitely a film worth watching!