Bang (January 9/99)
Bang, filmed for less than $20,000, is proof that a big budget is not necessarily needed to produce a quality motion picture.
The movie opens with a young woman being kicked out of her house for failing to pay her rent. She's not too concerned, though, as she is scheduled to audition for the leading role in a movie opposite "Dustin" and "Julia." However, when she arrives at the producers house, it is quickly made quite apparent that his only motive for asking her there is to sleep with her. She refuses his advances and is thrown out without haste. Outside, she bumps into a somewhat insane homeless man (played very well by Peter Greene), who starts literally trashing the street. He exits, and leaves the woman to be arrested by a police officer who offers to drop all the charges in exchange for "sexual favors." She grabs his gun, handcuffs him to a tree, and steals his uniform. The remainder of the film follows her exploits as she roams the streets of Los Angeles dressed as a cop.
Bang is one of those films that, while not heavy on plot, always keeps the viewer interested, just because we want to see what's going to happen next. Through the main characters eyes, the audience sees both the positives (free coffee) and negatives (the responsibility of the job) that come with being a police officer. The film's been shot in a kind of pseudo-documentary style, with a hand-held camera following the characters around. Whether this was a conscious decision by the director, Ash, or a budget-induced constraint does not really matter; the technique imbues the movie with a distinct feeling of raw authenticity.
And on that same note, there isn't one performance here that doesn't ring true. Even the smallest roles have been filled by actors who seem real. It's not often you see a movie in which no-name actors actually do better than mainstream Hollywood actors would.
Bang is a movie that needs to be seen by Hollywood producers. It just goes to show that you don't need a gargantuan budget to create a good movie; you just need qualified actors and a well-written script.