Alex is a teenage girl who lives on Peyton Island, which is a small island off of Britain that has a very small population. There are several rules for the people who live on the island, one of them being that there is a curfew at sunset. No one is allowed out of their homes after dark, and to ensure that no one is breaking this rule the mayor has a group of mysterious masked men the locals start calling the Patrol Men sweeping the streets. The mayor claims the Patrol Men are there to protect the citizens from a brutal killer who is stalking the streets, but Alex has her doubts. When her friend is killed one night Alex looks into his murder and discovers some very unsettling things about the island. Will she escape the island alive or will her curiosity cost her everything, including her life?
I had never even heard of “Patrol Men” before I watched it so I did a little research online to at least see what it was about. After doing a little reading I realized that it was another “big brother is watching you” movie along the lines of “1984” or Fahrenheit 451” I have never really been a big fan of these types of movies so I went into “Patrol Men” not really expecting anything that wonderful. I was just glad that I didn’t get my hopes up, because my initial thoughts about it before I watched it were pretty much on target. Some people may like it, but I just couldn’t get into it for a number of reasons.
I think that the biggest problem with the movie was that it was just boring. Don’t get me wrong, it starts off strongly with a pretty cool death scene at the very beginning, but its all down hill from there (plus the opening scene really has nothing to do with anything anyway as we find out later, so what was the point of it other than showing a topless woman and some blood?). The pace is terribly slow, there are too many scenes with Alex whining about something or arguing with her dad, friends, or complete strangers, and to be honest there are times where pretty much nothing at all is going on. Even the title characters (who wear outfits sort of like the one the killer wears in “My Bloody Valentine”) don’t really do anything but stand there looking ominous or lurk in the background. They do kill one person on screen, but the scene itself is so boring that you won’t even care. I think that this film suffers from a serious lack of action and that at times it is just mind-numbingly boring. The Patrol Men looked cool enough, but it was too bad that they never actually did anything remotely cool.
In addition to being boring the movie is just damn confusing. I had no idea what was going on at one point and just had to take a guess as to what was happening. What was the point of the old man having visions again? Why was the teacher killed? What was up with Alex’s dad? What was the point of the “Halloween”-like story that was meant to scare people into not wanting to go outside at night? Why would Alex be all buddy-buddy and friendly to a guy that had tried to strangle her earlier? Why would he listen to her and want to help her after he was hostile toward her and attempted to strangle her? What was up with the ending? To be honest I really don’t have answers for any of these questions and even if you watch the movie, you won’t either (unless I just missed something while I was watching it). This movie confused the hell out of me several times and for the most part I really didn’t have a clue as to what was happening.
The characters are pretty bad too. Alex is pretty annoying and I just never really cared if she lived or died. It didn’t take very long before she was grating on my nerves and if you are like me you will find yourself wishing that the Patrol Men would hurry up and get rid of her. As bad as Alex is though, she is wonderful compared to her rebel without a cause (or clue for that matter) pal, Jess. This character is supposed to be some sort of “bad kid” who doesn’t quite fit in with anyone (we know he is bad news because he has a black leather jacket) other than Alex. He is one of those characters who has a problem with authority for no obvious reason and just has a sh*t attitude about life in general. He is basically just a big dork trying to act like he is a bad ass and he is probably the worst character in the movie (and that is saying a lot). Don’t worry though, he is stupid enough to test fate and stay out after curfew so he gets killed off fairly early, which is a blessing.
I had a hard time with “Patrol Men.” It was just not for me at all, though there may be some people out there who may love it. I am hesitate to say that it is a bad movie as it could be that I just didn’t get it and the people who do may find it to be brilliant. As I said I am just not into these types of movies and I think that if you have seen one of them you have seen them all. I didn’t care for it personally but by all means take a crack at it if it sounds like it may be right up your alley. If you end up watching it and liking it I may have to get together with you so you can explain some things about it to me.