Mass is mostly a four-hander, with a very brief briefing that just states how many years earlier, there was “an unspeakable tragedy”, and now, the two sets of parents agree to talk in an attempt to move forward”.
Early on, Richard (Reed Birney) and Linda (Ann Dowd) talk about their sons Stephen and Hayden, while Jay (Jason Isaacs) and Gail (Martha Plimpton) have a son, Evan, and a daughter, Sophie, with all four parents first apologising for things they’ve said in the past – yet so far, we’re not aware of what’s been said.
It takes forever to get to telling us what happened, although when one of the parents brings with them ‘a picture of the last Christmas’, I had a feeling it involved the death of a child. Given that it’s in the trailer, I can say that it’s one of Richard and Linda’s sons who have killed the son of Jay and Gail, but in what sort of circumstances?
Either way, there’s 20-25 minutes of pointless guff before the meeting starts, as Judy (Breeda Wool), who runs the church activities is setting up the room, and we see her go about her daily tasks. This has zero bearing on the main discussion, so could easily have been cut down to just a few minutes.
The one really odd thing – unless it’s to get across the tension that’s there for both sets of parents – it’s that the film starts off in a 2.00:1 ratio, but as it goes on, the top and bottom black bars close in. At around 72 minutes into the film, there’s a short outside scene in what looks like a very wide 2.66:1 widescreen aspect ratio (approx), and the film continues that way.
Still, while Mass has some moments of decent drama and acting, for the most part, I found it massively dull when the basic premise suggests the complete opposite. However, given that it has a reasonably high score on IMDB and with a userbase of just over 5000 people who’ve voted, I guess I’m in the wrong 😉
Thanks to our friends at Sky for the screener prior to release.
Mass is on Sky Cinema and NOW TV from Thursday January 20th, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Running time: 111 minutes
Release date: January 21st 2022
Studio: Sky Cinema
Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1, 2.66:1
Director: Fran Kranz
Producers: Fran Kranz, Dylan Matlock, Casey Wilder Mott, JP Ouellette
Screenplay: Fran Kranz
Music: Darren Morze
Jay: Jason Isaacs
Gail: Martha Plimpton
Richard: Reed Birney
Linda: Ann Dowd
Judy: Breeda Wool
Anthony: Kagen Albright
Kendra: Michelle N Carter
Piano Teacher: Michael White
Piano Student: Campbell Spoor
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.