5.1/10
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27 user 18 critic

Guy X (2005)

R | | Comedy, War | 14 October 2005 (UK)
A black comedy set in 1979, about a soldier mistakenly posted to an Arctic military base.

Director:

Saul Metzstein

Writers:

Steve Attridge (screenplay), John Paul Chapple (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Biggs ... Corporal Rudy Spruance
Natascha McElhone ... Sgt. Irene Teal
Jeremy Northam ... Col. Woolwrap
Sean Tucker ... Lavone
Hilmir Snær Guðnason ... Petri (as Hilmir Snær Gudnason)
Harry Standjofski ... Chaplain Brank
Rob deLeeuw ... Slim
Donny Falsetti ... Genteen
Jonathan Higgins ... Vord
Michael Ironside ... Guy X
Benz Antoine ... Philly
Mariah Inger Mariah Inger ... May
Dino Tosques Dino Tosques ... Chef
Einar Sigurðsson Einar Sigurðsson ... Inuit (as Einar Sigurdsson)
Nelson Balderrama Nelson Balderrama ... Pissing Inuit
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Storyline

US Army Corporal Rudy Spruance arrives at a remote American military base at Qangattarsa, Greenland - located somewhere above the Arctic Circle - just before the summer solstice in June, 1979. Beyond a two day out of the year environmental occurrence which negatively affects his arrival, his reaction to which he will probably be forever best remembered by his fellow GI's at Qangattarsa, Rudy faces two problems: he is not supposed to be there, his next assignment which was supposed to be at a base in Hawaii; and he cannot convince anyone at Qangattarsa that he is not Corporal Martin Pederson, who is the GI assigned to this posting. Based on the paperwork at the base, Rudy learns that Pederson is a model soldier - an army brat - whereas he himself only enlisted as it was better than the alternative of jail. Lieutenant-Colonel Lane Woolwrap, the base's long time commanding officer, has long wanted a person in Pederson's position as the base's Public Information Officer, aka the head ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He was somebody, until the Army turned him into a nobody. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | Iceland | UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 2005 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Az ismeretlen katona See more »

Filming Locations:

Saint-Hubert, Québec, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$42,022
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The C-47 transport plane that flies in and out of the camp was retired from Air Force service in 1975, four years before the setting of the movie. See more »

Connections

References Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

25 Miles
Written by Edwin Starr, John W. Bristol and Gerald Wexler
Performed by Edwin Starr
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice idea – shame about the delivery
23 August 2005 | by Chris_DockerSee all my reviews

An engaging storyline and suggestions that it is in the mould of Catch 22 or M*A*S*H suggest great things for Guy X. A man is dropped off by plane at a remote army post in Greenland. His identity has changed, there is no way of correcting the records, and no way of getting off the base. He stumbles on something that people would rather keep hidden, and is also attracted to the commanding officer's girlfriend – all of which, together with a very crazy bunch of colleagues, puts him in some quirky and irreverent danger.

Adapted from a well received novel (No One Thinks of Greenland), Guy X should be a resounding success but sadly falls rather short of the mark. Natascha McElhone performs admirably, but her performance is not enough to carry a lacklustre screenplay, fuzzy directing, a miscast leading man (Jason Biggs) and supporting characters with insufficient talent. For American Pie (Biggs' earlier success), such shallow efforts might have been adequate, but Metzstein is clearly trying to make an art-house movie (he said as much at the UK premiere) without the necessary skills. The film lacks pace and is very unengaging. Falling asleep in it seems more interesting than caring about whether characters' identities are being administrated out of existence. By the end of the film you might be holding on to see if there is going to be a final explanation, or you might be past caring whether there is one.

McElhone and her colleagues, in the Q&A at its Edinburgh premiere, waxed lyrical about the book, the themes of isolation, and what it does to people (she seemed more serious about the film than the director or co-stars who mostly just joked). She convinced me there was a good story there, but also that as a talented actress she had nevertheless misplaced her faith in the team to pull it off. There is no more depth apparent to the characters antics than characters from, errr . . . American Pie. If Biggs and Metzstein want to make the jump to serious cinema, they need to go back to school first. With such a finely nuanced story, the lead actor should be able to exhibit a depth of charisma or otherwise maintain interest in a way that goes far beyond the demands of an action flick or lowbrow comedy. A director must convince an audience with sufficient skill and sincerity to get them to work harder than they would for popcorn entertainment. For this viewer at least, such things were not achieved in Guy X.

On the positive side, McElhone is interesting, it was a great idea, and the choice of sets is unusual. If that is enough to get you to spend your money, go for it – otherwise you might want to stay at home until this crew become more mature and deliver the sort of film that many believe they are capable of. Good ideas alone do not a successful piece of cinema make.


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