Tank 432 [aka Belly of the Bulldog] has such potential but too much is wasted on keeping the mystery instead of telling the story!
I had no expectation for Tank 432 whatsoever. Still, I did expect the movie to be somewhat coherent and to get more than a half-baked story. The few crumbs, we do get, seem very interesting and I would’ve liked to know more.
Especially because it could have aided in trying to ignore the more blatant errors. Like the fact that one second there’s no light inside the tank at all – even though it’s daytime – and next, there are several cracks letting in light.
What I did like about Tank 432 was much of the acting. And I must admit that this is no small feat. The dialogue is often terribly forced and doesn’t add much to the plot. If anything, it adds to the stereotypical elements of doing and saying exactly what you would expect.
But I will admit this: The reason I’m so annoyed with all these sub-par elements is because I thought it seemed really interesting at first.
The story goes nowhere in Tank 432
Imagine watching the beginning of 28 Days Later or Resident Evil and never getting any closer to what’s going on. That’s the feeling I sat with when the movie was over. I do think a few of the characters felt a bit wiser, but I still had a lot of questions.
And I really love the mysteries. But part of loving a mystery is following the breadcrumbs to the answers. Maybe not all of the answers, but at least enough to get an idea of what’s going on. Here we get the bare minimum. However, it seems like all the really interesting stuff is still unknown to us.
That’s not my kind of movie!
Still, as I stated earlier, I do feel that the actors give their all. Some even go into full badass theater drama, which at least gives the story some edge. If only they had spent more time letting us know what was going on, then I would’ve been left much happier.
It really would not have taken much, but what I got from Tank 432 was way too little. The people are trapped in the Belly of the Bulldog and we know there are lots of mind games, but as the audience, we should be allowed more information than the poor characters.
The most interesting story is never told
Tank 432 seems almost post-apocalyptic, but we’re left in the dark as to what is going on. Well, maybe if you freeze frame on every single scrap of paper, you could get wiser, but that’s not how I watch a movie. Least of all one that has lost me about half-way through.
Nick Gillespie wrote and directed this movie, which is his feature film debut. He has previously made eight short films and this feel like a movie that would’ve worked better as a short film as well. He has worked on several of Ben Wheatley’s productions in the past [in the camera department] such as Kill List, Sightseers and High-Rise. That’s probably why Ben Wheatley also produced this one, but I wish he had gotten more involved in the editing part.
Basically, I just want to know what the backstory was. I feel like that’s the really interesting story. And I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed Tank 432 a lot more if I did. Right now, it stands as a broken episode of Black Mirror, where we leave off just before the conclusion.
Tank 432 premiered at Film4 FrightFest back in October 2015. As of April 4, 2017, you can watch it on Netflix.
Director: Nick Gillespie
Writer: Nick Gillespie
Cast: Rupert Evans, Steve Garry, Deirdre Mullins, April Pearson, Michael Smiley, Gordon Kennedy
With nowhere else to hide, a group of mercenaries and their two prisoners take cover inside a long abandoned Bulldog tank. But, while they try to keep the forces outside at bay, the real enemy is already among them, locked inside the ‘Belly of the Bulldog’.