Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ouch! Those Paintball Thingies Really Kill

To call me a paintball enthusiast would be false. I’m a paintball dreamer.
It just looks SO fun. Play dress up and act tough while inflicting minor pain on pals or coworkers? Sign me up for the preferred members program!
In truth, I’ve played paintball once and while I did end up rainbow-colored and bruised, I also emerged with the sneaking suspicion that I missed my life’s calling as a competitive non-lethal sniper.
Oh, but this post isn’t about me and my addiction to competition (the nickname ‘Scattegories Nazi’ has a most definite source). Nope. Today’s feature is a simply named Instant Watch action thriller titled--you guessed it--Paintball.
Load your pellets.

Quick Plot: Somewhere in Cyrillic Europe, an expensive paintball program is drawing in the bored and wealthy international populace. An assorted team awakens with green armbands over their camouflage jumpsuits, each given a job like recon or scout. They’re eager and (mostly) athletic, but it doesn’t take ten minutes for real bullets to start heading their way. Turns out, someone with night vision is on the hunt and our inexperienced Green Team members start dropping like the flies I swat daily now that it’s almost summer in the Bronx.

On one level, Paintball is pretty much exactly what you’re expecting from a movie called ‘Paintball’ streaming on Netflix. The characters are fairly disposable and hard to decipher under splattered helmets. The body count dwindles in the order you more or less expect. Bad guys get jerky and good girls summon strength.

That being said, Paintball is way better than it had to be. Though we don’t really know our characters, we believe and like them well enough to not yawn at their plight. The camerawork is clearly aiming to put you in that painty forest, pulling us in the shooters/victims’ shoes with surprisingly effective point of view shots.
I didn’t fall in love with Paintball, but I was more than pleasantly entertained by what actually came off as a good movie, one made with far more skill than its premise required. I’ll keep my eye on this Daniel Benmayor director chap. He knows what he’s doing.
High Points
I don’t want to spoil too much, but the execution of the kills is actually quite neat, giving us an alternative view that is somehow more disturbing in muting some of the graphics
Low Points
Though I didn’t necessarily have a problem with the last man/woman standing, I also never really felt much suspense leading up to his/her final run. You can sense immediately--for no reason other than genre convention--that THIS will be your final girl/boy, and because I’m me, I was disappointed by its unnecessary (and unjustified) obviousness.
Lessons Learned
Choosing to live or not to live just depends on you...and those orchestrating a lethal and secluded game of amateur paintball

Be careful where you point pointy things
Into every paintball team, an asshole must emerge
As a Netflix Instant Watch, I easily recommend Paintball for a day you want to pass with good action. Those sad souls without an American account should keep their eyes out for a cheap rental or bargain bin buy. It’s not the greatest thing since Gangland, but Paintball is plain and simple, a fun(ly) serious little bite of genre skill.


  1. "Into every paintball team, an asshole must emerge." Sounds like someone ripped their pants. I would've never dreamed of watching this movie, now I just might consider it. Thanks for bringing it to light.

  2. Hope you enjoy it! It's not super, but it makes for a fun and tense quick viewing that I had fun with.

    And yet, I should've added to wear several layers of pants!

  3. Hmmmm. Nah. I think I'll keep my horror / paintball experience confined to JASON LIVES and leave it at that.

  4. But that closes you off from Child's Play 3!

  5. No one should ever miss out on Child's Play 3; it's simply wonderful!

    I love when you review films that I want to see that collect dust in my Netflix queue. I would've watched it anyway, but now that I know it's actually decent enough, I'll be more apt to press play next time I buzz by it.

  6. I know Matt! CP3 grows on me each time I watch it. And it's directed by a major LOST director, Jack Bender!

    And that instant queue is a gamble. Like produce shopping, sometimes it's delicious, other times tasteless, and worst of all, rotten. We live on the edge.

  7. CP3 is something I have been waiting to watch for a very long time (saving it for a rainy day) I hope it’s worth the wait! I’m not sure on this paintball film – I found it a little overly predictable but that may be because I enjoy real paintball too much and I had just been at Delta Force Paintball in the day – so it killed my adrenaline rush.