“Centaur” is the latest entry in the fairly recent genre of “found footage films.” Set in and around the San Francisco Bay area, the unnamed protagonist of the film (played by JP Allen) is documenting the reasons for and implementation of his plan for revenge against the person responsible for the death of his girlfriend. We follow him through the planning stage, the “dry run,” and, ultimately, the execution of said plan. Conveniently, our leading character is also a video editor, so interspersed with his footage, we get video that his girlfriend was shooting for him. Does it all come together in the end?
Sadly, no. Allen has an interesting idea here, but he just doesn’t pull it off. It should be noted that not only does he star, but he is also the writer and director. He fails to impress in all three categories. His performance is lifeless, his dialogue is stilted, and his direction is uneven at best. If it was Allen the actor’s choice to play the character as he does, Allen the director should have replaced him. If it was Allen’s direction to play the character as such, Allen the actor should have walked. And Allen the actor and Allen the director should have demanded rewrites from Allen the screenwriter, as some of the dialogue is trite and occasionally laughable.
Perhaps the most telling criticism of this film comes from its closing credits:
“Written in a San Francisco Coffee Shop”
“Centaur” has its theatrical premiere Friday, March 23, 2012 at Landmark’s Lumiere Theatre in San Francisco.