HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT! (Denis Boivin). 98 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (March 25) at the Carlton. For times, see page 98. Rating: N Rating: N
Poor Sam. The good-natured, Bruce Lee-admiring Algonquin native simply wants to drive his red pickup from his home in Abitibi to visit his girlfriend, Migona ( Brenda Papatie ), in a reserve outside Quebec City. But when a Russian prostitute named Tania ( Ioulia Volkova ) stows away in his truck at a service station, Sam ( Wally Cheezo ) suddenly finds the Quebec chapter of the Russian mob on his mullet's tail.
Documentary filmmaker Denis Boivin injects plenty of themes into his underwhelming fiction feature debut, chief among them the differences among Canada's native peoples. We also learn that Canada's First Nations may be descended from Russian migrants.
All potentially entertaining stuff. The best scenes feature cultural confusions, as when Tania puns on poutine and Putin. The worst scenes include bathetic flashbacks, crying jags and anything to do with the Russian mob story line.
Ultimately, the script and production are so amateurish, it's hard to believe this is playing at a commercial theatre and not in someone's basement.