If there's any reason to put your money down for Walk All Over Me, it's to see Leelee Sobieski and Tricia Helfer in a bunch of hot fetish wear. Nevermind the fact that the movie is a fun little crime drama with a heart and that the story is told in a Coenesque style with emphasis on each character's little comedic quirks--Number Six from Battlestar Galactica dresses up as a sexy RCMP officer!
Walk All Over Me is concerned about showing control how everyone can control one another. Alberta (Leelee Sobieski) has no ability to influence the events in her life and throughout the film everything that might end up going right for her fails spectacularly. As she comes into the big city--after her small-town boyfriend gets beaten to a bloodied pulp--she shacks up with girl-done-good Celene (Tricia Helfer). Very quickly, it's revealed that Celene is a dominatrix and that she treats everyone around her like they were slaves. The two characters couldn't be more different: Celene is always in charge of the situation, where Alberta always fails miserably with every attempt at control. Celene can drop a mob boss through a glass table. Alberta can only watch, horrified, as she's forced to burn a man with an iron.
The first act of the film is spent as a girl-comes-to-the-city comedy where Alberta attempts to find herself. She takes on an earnest young client of Celene's named Paul (Jacob Tierney) to earn some quick cash. They head back to his apartment after he manages to seduce her in his own adorable little way--everything goes to pot from there. Along the way, there are characters like the geeky submissive Spencer (Ross McMillan), who insists that he's not a freak despite the collection of torture equipment kept in his house. Cory Cassidy also has a wildly funny role as a grocery store shopper with delusions of being a mall security guard. His best bits in the film are spent trying to bust perps before they get a shot at stealing from the store he so religiously protects.
The crime drama aspect of the film is competently handled and Cuffley manages to keep the story light and fun instead of overwrought. Nothing is funnier than seeing a badass mob boss tossed through a glass table, shorn like a sheep and then forced to stare at a naked man's genitals as he's tied up in his dungeon. These little comedic touches keep the crime aspect of the film with the quirky nature of the opening and keep the overall plot structure cohesive instead of suddenly shifting from quirky comedy to crime thriller.
Director Robert Cuffley's beginnings in music videos are pretty evident in Walk All Over Me. The soundtrack is killer and the montage sequences put to music are some of the best in the film. What gets aggravating is when the music is overused. In the first act, these montages come so quickly that it feels like a collection of music videos with a bit of dialogue thrown in to sew some semblance of plot together. The overuse of music dulls its impact in the second half of the film, although this is a minor quibble when the rest of the film is so entertaining.
Walk All Over Me is a good little film to watch. It has aspects of a crime thriller, but never attempts to get caught up in its own drama. Cuffley is a newcomer to the scene, with only one other feature-length film under his belt and if he can keep up the quality, he will definitely have a career.
Meet the film's crew Sat., Dec. 8 at the Uptown.