Movie Review by Ben Hopkins
Starring: Stuart Laing, Napakpapha Nakprasitte, Francis Magee, Gavan O’Herlihy
Director: Kaprice Kea
BUTTERFLY MAN takes your standard-issue ‘trouble in paradise’ scenario and adds very little to the formula. The film follows the exploits of British tourist Adam, a man with such bad-luck that he gets dumped on the first day of his travels and then sees his ex-girlfriend getting knobbed by a local salesman with a really dodgy ponytail. Not one to be downhearted by such a setback, Adam makes the best of his journey, eventually falling for the native masseuse Em. As with all such films, things don’t go smoothly and the pair soon find themselves suffering through their association with various shady characters. Will they find true love? Will they make it back to England? And most importantly, will anyone care?
Possibly, but possibly not is the rather uncertain answer. BUTTERFLY MAN has numerous flaws, most prominently the fact that the story is about as predictable as a Status Quo album. Sticking to all of the usual genre stereotypes, BUTTERFLY MAN certainly doesn’t particularly shock, surprise or intrigue and things are made all the worse by some flat dialogue, a set of mediocre characters and the pure stupidity of Adam. Off to get, as Alabama 3 would say, ‘consciousness expansion’, Adam is only one-step above lager-lout level, pissing off the locals and getting into situations so obviously dangerous even David Blaine would have second thoughts. In short, it’s not convincing.
It’s not all bad. BUTTERFLY MAN gets straight to the point, flows smoothly, has some great scenery and holds just about enough interest for the viewer to see it through. But a largely improbable conclusion adds to the already inherent shortcomings leaving a film consisting of a decent if well-worn route executed without style or panache.