Although the star-studded cast may make the film seem like a high-profile project, The Power of Few is a distinctly amateur exercise in cinematic masturbation. For every bit of wit and skill that director / screenwriter Leone Marucci shows off here, he also just plain shows off, trying to dazzle the viewer with dull reveals, simple connections, and empty philosophical ideas. The film examines the same 15-to-20-minute segment multiple times, focusing on a different batch of characters each time. On a technical level, the film is adequately made, but Marucci gets too distracted making his movie memorable on the surface to focus on the mechanics of making it memorable underneath.
Marucci's directorial style is a good place to start. When Cory arrives at his grandfather's house, the camera looms up out of the sink drain, next to a towering faucet dripping water that looks slightly thick. It's a memorable shot, but it doesn't serve any narrative purpose. There is no reason to choose this shot to establish the bathroom over any other, and it seems like someone probably had to construct a giant sink (either physically or in the computer) to accomplish it. It would be better to save some sort of cinematic emphasis for the discovery of the gun, but no. Later, a rat dives into a pipe and Marucci's camera follows the pipe down the side of a building to a dumpster where Doke and Brown are digging for scraps. I expected the mouse to at least re-appear at the bottom, if not get captured as potential lunch, but the mouse is forgotten when the camera finds the drifters. Cinematic gymnastics like this ought to have some narrative purpose, but Marucci's movie is littered with stylish shots for the sake of it. Meanwhile, what may be an actual town looks consistently like a backlot -- his time would've been better spent tweaking the actual cinematography.
Script-wise, Marucci's skills get better as the film goes along. The first segment, with Cory, is not particularly interesting until it ends, clarifying that the film has more story than just a kid desperately trying to get some baby medicine. The Dom / Alexa segment is elevated by Kilcher, who has great chemistry with Bradford, but it's a basic Meet Cute scenario, plus gunfire. The cop thread is plagued with so much ridiculous technical dialogue about ops and stages and marks that I honestly wondered if the characters would be revealed as aliens before the film was over. Still, Slater plays to basic strengths, and Whelan is intentionally irritating as a cokehead who's overly desperate to catch the "bad guy." The film holds steady for the weird story of Doke and Brown, which succeeds on the strength of Walken and Prentice's rapport, and the movie goes out on a relative high note, following a young girl (Tione Johnson) who hops into Junkshow and Shamu's car. Johnson gives the film's best performance, punching up Anderson and Juvenile's game in the process. It's a cutesy reveal, but she makes it work as well as it can.
The editing of these threads is decent, and some of the performances are fun, but The Power of Few doesn't have anything particularly interesting to offer. It's probably true that many viewers without any expectations will be pleased to see everything come together in the end, but it's a hollow victory, with the cohesiveness of the film failing to add up to any sort of significant point beyond "well, what a coincidence." Take the title, for example: The Power of Few. It's actually a pun -- a perfect example of the kind of depth Marucci manages to achieve.
The Video and Audio
The disc wraps up with a deleted scene (1:21) of Doke and Brown running from Officer McCain (caleb Moody) after making a crack about a pedestrian, and the film's original theatrical trailer. There is also a QR code on the special features menu, but I didn't scan it to find out what it unlocks.