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Kit Taylor is the Captain and lone survivor of a very public, very messy freighter disaster. He hits the bottom and keeps sinking, scraping a living together working in a junkyard until he’s approached with an impossible offer. Become the test subject for a new flight control chip, one that links directly to the human mind, and get his family back and his record expunged. It sounds too good to be true, and it is.
Audax was released in 2014 following a crowdfunding campaign and, cards on the table, it embodies pretty much everything I love about micro budget productions. it has almost nothing and uses all of it multiple times, usually slightly re-dressed and occasionally with another couple of extras. Like Robert Rodriguez’s early movies this is a film made with the tools in reach and, like Rodriguez’s early movies, it’s basically impossible to dislike because you can see just how hard these folks are working. Every frame of this movie rings with effort and they not only put that effort in but got a finished product out of it. That’s worthy of respect.
Plus, Audax is never worse than a straight-to-dvd special from the early ’00s. It’s a B-movie, it knows that and it knows there’s no shame in that. Better still it knows it can have some FUN. The central idea is great and Vin Hawke’s Kit Taylor is a nicely played, and at times actively dis-likable take on the Captain With a Dark and Troubled Past. There’s one early moment, during a very tense meal where he transitions from chitchat to a horror story to asking for the salt and does so without shifting vocal gears that is just chilling. It speaks volumes about the character, sets the mood and drives the story all at once. The movie’s scattered with moments like that too. An early scene at the scrapyard where Kit is eking out a living is really well done. The callback to it at the end is even better and the movie has a bone dry and very weird sense of humor that it really should have let out more.
Most of all though, the thing that stays with me from Audax is how refreshing it is to have a movie like this where characters are allowed to be from different parts of the UK. The Northern accents scattered through it give the film a very distinct air that plays somewhere between Peter Tiniswood, 24 Hour Party People and Dan Dare. That’s what really carries the movie through in the end; a unique, honest voice that uses everything it can to tell a story and gives a very familiar plot a new sheen. The end result is not just a satisfying story told well, but a world I’d be happy to return to and that’s a success any movie, of any size, craves. Good job, folks.
Audax is streaming on Prime Video now.