Brothers Brandon and Jason Trost have put everything into their passion project titled The FP. It’s a bizarre tale about two rival gangs that battle it out not with weapons, but with dancing. The FP takes the popular game Dance, Dance, Revolution to the next level, introducing a whole new wacky world, full of over-the-top characters and scenarios. I can see where the Trost Bros. were going; I just didn’t have as much fun watching it as they did making it.
Sometime in the near post apocalyptic future two rival gangs rule a small town. They battle it out over a dancing video game, which rewards the winner with the props and whatever other cool shit people like to throw around when they’ve beaten someone at something. JTRO (Jason Trost) loses a friend to the deadly game and vows to never return again, but as the days go by things get worse.
The rival gang, led by L Dubba E (Lee Valmassy) is tearing apart the streets and causing pain and suffering for everyone, so KCDC (Art Hsu) begs JTRO to return. Initially he refuses, but after seeing what L Dubba E has done to the city he begins vigorous training, with the help of a few friends.
The FP is just a flat out bizarre experience that never quite clicks. Stylistically the film engages the eyes and ears, with all sorts of hyper visuals and sonic sounds, but it’s just a repetition of an over-the-top concept acted out by over-the-top actors. It’s a very personal passion project by directors Brandon and Jason Trost, but it doesn’t translate well for anyone outside the inner circle.
I tried going into the film without judging any of the flat trailers and I still had troubles sitting through it. There’s nothing poor about the film, if you judge it based on its own goals, but as far as overall value goes there’s just nothing fun about the film.
Its characters are reincarnations of those idiots that used to hog up the Dance, Dance, Revolution game at the local mall and those aren’t exactly the people that you can get behind. They dress like dirty hipsters, act like children and constantly obsess over themselves.
Not being able to get behind the core group of characters means the film must rely solely on its storytelling, which is near impossible because you won’t be able to stop thinking about The Warriors. The FP pays homage to The Warriors, but never brings anything to the table for itself. It feels as if Brandon and Jason Trost had an idea that they thought sounded great and decided to mix it with their favorite film (I’m guessing The Warriors), which results in a giant face palm of a film.
The FP will find an audience and I’m sure whoever that audience consists of will soak up the film and watch it yearly, if not monthly, but everyone else will just be left out in the rain or off the dance mat. I’d be happier competing over the city limits in a game of good old-fashioned Time Crisis or something.
The film is faithfully transferred over to Blu-Ray with a 1080p video transfer, provided by Image Entertainment. The film was shot digitally and there’s no mistake about it. The film is very stylized, with lots of nighttime neon scenery and grainy and washed over color effects. The budget does show though, which simply means the disc never reaches that wow level, but comes close.
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is basic, with a lot of silence. There are enough panning and environmental sounds whenever they’re at the club for a dance off, but most of the track feels restricted, again due to the budget.
Here’s a list of the bonus materials featured on the disc:
- Commentary with the Trost Bros.: The directing duo discusses the core roots of the film and how they went about filming it in their father’s barn with the entire cast and crew. I can’t help but to appreciate their enormous amount of passion and effort that went into the project.
- Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished: The Making of The FP (HD): Three making-of featurettes that discuss the film’s origins, the film’s set design and lastly the film’s scoring, which was done by George Holdcroft.
- The FP in The FP: A Return to Frazier Park (HD): A visit to the town in which the film is based in where the Trost Bros. host a screening and visit several shooting locations.
- Trailers (HD): A green band trailer and a red band trailer for the film.
- Booklet: Features several essays and production notes.
- Digital Copy
The FP is definitely something that won’t resonate with everyone. The trailers do a good job of painting a clear picture of what the film is, so I don’t think you’ll really need me to steer you in any direction. If the trailer looked like something you’d enjoy than chances are you’ll probably really dig the film and want to pick it up. If the trailer looked like something a little too out there for you than you’ll be better off skipping this one altogether.
I wasn’t sure where I was going to land, with the trailer having a few high points, but mostly low ones. I ended up in the disliked category, but I still think the Trost Bros. deserve some recognition for making a bold and unique film that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, at least from a presentation level. The story borrows a few things from past films, but it’s mostly a fresh take.
The Blu-Ray will be more than enough for fans to get excited for, with a dark and edgy video transfer and a leveled 5.1 lossless audio track. The special features allows for a better look behind the lens, which is exactly what something like this needs to be appreciated by non-fans.
This review is based on a copy of the Blu-Ray that we received for reviewing purposes.
The FP is visually engaging and full of odd concepts, but not once does the film feel like anything more than a big joke. There's talent buried somewhere underneath all of the homages to The Warriors, I'm just not sure where.