Guy XDespite the best efforts of leading man and American Pie veteran Jason Biggs, this satirical tale of military hijinx and base camp coverups fails to illicit either the subtle laughs warranted by a black comedy or the intrigue earned by a good mystery. M*A*S*H succeeded on all accounts where Guy X fails, and regardless of where the fault lies, this pseudo thriller/slapstick comedy doesn’t stand up to the test of the source material, the novel No One Thinks of Greenland, by John Griesemer.

Based around a bumbling everyman (Biggs’ specialty), Guy X follows private Rudy Spruance, an unlucky soldier on his way to Hawaii who gets dropped off instead in Greenland, under the mistaken identity of PIO Martin Peterson. Unable to convince his commanding officer Colonel Woolwrap (overplayed by the typically capable Jeremy Northam) of the mistake, and unabashedly intrigued by Woolwrap’s flirtatious girlfriend Sergeant Irene Teale (Natascha McElhone in a phoned in performance), Spruance resigns himself to orchestrating the base’s newspaper, The Harpoon.

In 101 plodding, lackluster minutes, director Saul Metzstein somehow manages to convey a minimum amount of information with a maximum amount of effort. There’s a lot to go on here, but little of it is effectively communicated. Instead we watch as Rudy fails repeatedly (and redundantly) to escape the base, his companions drink the days away in a series of increasingly ridiculous party scenes, and eventually Rudy discovers the secret of the camp, the titular Guy X (played by Michael Ironside in burn-victim getup). Unfortunately, even the revelation of the biggest secret of the film does little to stir up any interest.

Releaed to numerous international film festivals in 2005, Guy X languished on the shelf before being picked up by First Look Studios for a release on November 27th of this year. One viewing clearly illustrates what kept the film off the streets for so long. Though the political atmosphere is ripe for a decent military conspiracy/cover-up film, Guy X is not that film. Its stars will survive unscathed, but only due to the lack of exposure their performances will receive.

Zach’s Rating: D
Perfect For: A cold, dark six months in Greenland
Stay Away if: You’ve seen Catch 22 and M*A*S*H and you’d rather not see an imitation

To purchase Guy X, visit Amazon
For more reviews by Zach Freeman, visit his Hubpage

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