Now Streaming: Foil (2024) - Reviewed


Images Courtesy of Cranked Up

High school reunions are a tradition that more times than not is a signified of things not yet done and the promise of tomorrow.  While there are countless films about the social awkwardness of the event, former flames, and rivals, few of them explore the evolving dynamic of lifelong friends in detail.  Zach Green's inventive indie feature Foil takes this concept and filters it through a science fiction lens to demonstrate the power of friendship.  Featuring a hilarious ensemble of wild characters, pristine visuals, and an unmistakable love of the medium, Green and his crew deliver a charming lo-fi comedy.

Dexter is a struggling director with a single pornographic title to his name.  Returning for his high school reunion, he reconnects with his best friend Rex and the two embark on an extraterrestrial laced journey into the Californian desert, where strange and possibly dangerous locals draw them into a bizarre conspiracy surrounding the Vortex, a mysterious zone within the desert. Green co-wrote the script with co-star Devin O'Rourke.  One of the strongest aspects of the production is the dialogue, peppered with hilarity but built on genuine emotions.  This is at its core a story about friends and the reality that often the things we think we need are there in front of us the entire time.  Rourke and Green drive this home with their simple, and honest presentations that enhance what could have been another boring indie jaunt about self-discovery by using their natural chemistry to endear themselves to the viewer. 

The science fiction aspects are an interesting choice, and the mythology of the Vortex presents a fun mystery that injects two more characters into the fray, both of which have laugh out loud moments in the narrative.  Jordan Black’s crisp cinematography captures the elegiac landscape with beautiful panoramas and intimate close ups of the principals.  This is the kind of film that only works because of the magic infused into it by its creators, and this detail is shown in virtually every sequence.  While the alien plot is at the fore, the subplot of Dexter’s career supports the overall framework with a clear love of the medium, including a hilarious analysis of Tremors.

Now available for digital rental, Foil is fun, wacky foray into UFO conspiracies, mentally unbalanced nomads, and the importance of finding happiness with oneself.  If aliens and madmen are the terrors of the night, it is friendship that is the most potent weapon to defeat them, and Green's terrific, intimate story showcases this truth from start to finish. 


--Kyle Jonathan