Sunday, November 23, 2008

"You Can't Make Me Stop"

I watched a screening of Special, starring Michael Rapaport, on Saturday that I had recorded on HDNET. I'm not very familiar with the star, other than his appearance in this season's Prison Break TV series, but he did a outstanding acting job in this quirky Indie film. Rapaport plays Les, a lonely, mild-mannered, mentally-challenged parking enforcement officer, who takes part in a medical trial for a new drug, named Special, which is supposed to help people eliminate self-doubt.

Apparently Les is the only study subject to have a psychotic break. He indeed sheds all self-doubt and starts to believe he can levitate, go through solid walls, and make people and objects disappear. He soon decides he needs a uniform, since his comic book heroes have them. What is a superhero with out a costume anyway? The result is a costume that reveals it was part of a budget movie, but it is funny too as Les to me resembles a character out of a Mad Max movie. The boots are a special touch, but I have an odd sense of humor.

Les tries his hand at crime prevention, mostly at convenience stores he hangs around. Since he is having hallucinations and delusions, he really thinks he is preventing crimes, but then everyone else, including his comic book selling buddies, thinks he is going crazy. His doctor and friends try to get him to stop taking Special, but Les doesn't listen.

SPOILER ALERT

Ultimately, the publicity of his "crime-fighting" actions gets the attention of the financial backers of the drug, and they want him to stop taking it too. But since Les thinks the drug gives him super powers, he will not stop. The backers then REALLY try to stop him, and Les tells them, "You can't make me stop." There is violence here that feels a bit out of place in the movie, but this is not really just a comedy. The movie is a delicate balance of humor with drama.

It is worth a watch on PPV or DVD if you get a chance.