DVD Review: “Syrup” Has An Interesting Premise But Crawls Along

syrup 2

Review by James McDonald

A slacker hatches a million-dollar idea. But, in order to see it through, he has to learn to trust his attractive corporate counterpart. Based on Max Barry’s novel.

Based on the novel by Max Barry, “Syrup” tells the story of a slacker who hatches a million-dollar idea but, in order to see it through, has to learn to trust his attractive corporate counterpart. I haven’t actually read the book so I can’t compare it to the movie but for me, overall, I found the movie to be a mixed bag. At different times throughout, the actors turn to the camera and start talking to us, the audience, to give us some marketing tips. I usually don’t like a character in a movie “breaking the fourth wall” and talking to us because they’re not supposed to be aware of the audience but like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, this part actually works here. Scat (Shiloh Fernandez) and his mute roommate Sneaky Pete (Kellan Lutz) are so poor that they are donating their semen to a local sperm bank when Scat comes up with an idea for a new energy drink. He manages to breeze his way in to ADDISON, one of the biggest ad agencies in New York and captures the attention of their top executive Six (Amber Heard) and gives her his idea. Initially, she dislikes him but thinks his idea has potential so she takes him on but when he goes to patent his idea, he finds out that Sneaky Pete already beat him to the punch so he and Six are now out of work. When ADDISON’s competitor hires them both, they’re about to change the game for good.

In this world of advertising and marketing, people hide their real identities and give themselves ‘Brand’ names, hence Scat, Sneaky Pete and Six. “Syrup” is a fitting movie for anybody who has ever craved a sardonic look at the advertising world. It is honest and bleak while being a little goofy and slightly preposterous. Granted, while the movie has some great dialogue and a few witty one-liners, it has a penchant to trudge along, and may be too slow for some. Many of the elements worked but for me, the one that didn’t work, was the relationship between Scat and Six. Or lack thereof. Personally, she slowly lets him into her life and for that matter, her bed but when he tries to kiss her she pushes him away and he spends the entire movie, trying to figure her out and just when he thinks he’s there, she pushes him away even further. Professionally, as their collective efforts bring them fame and fortune, Scat realizes that it has also cost him his integrity and he must recapture his true self behind the extravagant image he has created or risk losing everything.

Shiloh Fernandez was likable but at times, had a smugness about him that made me just want to reach into the screen and slap him up side his head. Amber Heard on the other hand, while she looked beautiful as the mysterious and sexy Six, had no character development throughout the film whatsoever. The whole idea of a movie, is that by the time it’s over, our characters have grown and learned from their experiences, for better or for worse but she seemed to be the exact same person at the end of the movie, as she was in the beginning and for me, I just didn’t buy that. Kellan Lutz was utterly wasted as Sneaky Pete. For the most part, he just wears shades and tries to look cool and for Mr. Lutz, he could do that in his sleep. In the end, if you’re interested in the ideology behind marketing and how the corporate world sees you as a consumer, the film does accentuate some universal topics that will make you think for a moment but, I stress, just a moment.

In stores November 5th


James McDonald
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