The Fixer is a cinematic anomaly, quite unlike anything I have seen in a long time. Taking inspiration from various aspects of popular culture, it seems that Lee Doll Film Productions have made an attempt at reviving the excitement and unrestrained cheese of eighties television, but within the DVD marketplace. The Fixer, in this first episode The Power of Balance, looks to invoke images of eighties TV action. Similar to television shows such as Miami Vice or The A-Team, The Fixer wraps up a quick little story inside of a small package that offers a clearly defined moral at the end, as well as some low budget action along the way. It is obviously not a brilliantly plotted feature, but at its very best moments it reminds us of classic television and the inspired moments that would often arrive in these most mundane of serials. At an hour in length, this straight to DVD television-style releasing strategy is certainly unique. Disgraced former District Attorney William Lawson (Brian St. August) has been leading a life of solitude with his good friend, martial arts instructor and zen master, Yeb-beb (Alfred Guy). Lawson has been doing his best to make up for his inadequacies and has been trying his best to help others in need, which has given him the title The Fixer amongst local citizens. After an accident occurs, where Lawson is holding an ancient object with mystical powers in one hand while touching a television set in the other, he is struck by an electrical disturbance and is given special powers. He now has the ability to search out and feel the emotions of other people. With a little training, Yeb-beb even manages to teach him to impose his own emotions on other people. Now these two set out to help wrong all of the injustices they can, and their first mission is to track down a missing young woman who has become part of a secret conspiracy lead by an Asian gang that will see the assassination of an entire martial arts school. Can Lawson and Yeb-beb put a stop to this plan before its too late?
If that synopsis sounds a bit on the ridiculous side, then I have hopefully done a fairly decent job in describing the basis for this show. Ridiculous isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing in most cases, in fact its just the description, and in the case of The Fixer it is generally a mixed blessing. While I commend the filmmakers behind the project for being as brazen as they want to be by simply throwing away all rational concepts, at the same time you can’t help but groan over some of the outrageous and over the top ideas that the film says yes to. Asian American gangs wearing Kabuki masks, martial arts leaders wearing third-eye jewelry and a near elderly man trying to kick butt while chewing up and spitting out his lines with a gravelly voice that seems to hint at a lifetime of tobacco smoking. Regardless of how silly the movie generally comes off as, the least I can do is commend it for having the intestinal fortitude to be original. Original and always creative, The Fixer has the idea-work laid out for it but some of the delivery is a bit off to say the least.
I do have to admit though, the project generally looks fairly good for this sort of production. Many low budget gigs like this tend to skip on the polish, and while The Fixer isn’t exactly Kubrick-ian, it does have some visual flair throughout. Many of the performances are unforuntately about what you would expect. Many of the cast members apparently "get it", and try their hand at taking things over the top, but some just aren’t able to deliver. The two leads, Brian St. August and Alfred Guy, both have some decent chemistry and generally feed off one another as the project moves along. St. August generally delivers the majority of the laughs, while Guy plays the straight man of the duo, but the comedy is so up and down that everyone gets to try their hand at making the audience laugh along the way. The project is interesting for what it tries to deliver however, and I do appreciate it for that. You can read more about The Fixer via http://www.leedoll.com.