This popular web series has finally made it to DVD. I will be honest and tell you that I had never even heard of Electric City before it landed on my desk. I looked at it and saw that it had Tom Hanks behind it; I immediately opened it and gave it a view. Did it live up to the expectations that come with the Tom Hanks name tag?
Electric City is a very controlled city where very few dare to challenge the norm. From the title, we get that the consumption of energy is closely monitored and the government of Electric City does not take lightly to those that challenge them or dare consume more than they are allowed to. Everything and every person has their place if you move out of place you may meet a swift death at the hands of agents such as Cleveland Carr (Tom Hanks). Carr is a simple man that gets the job done no matter the cost. He is the one that they send in to eliminate any potential threats to the grid of Electric City. But all is not this simple when watching this movie version of the web series.
The original web series was comprised of 5 minute long episodes; so the mini stories in this feature film seem far too fleeting. The fact that maps jump up every 5 minutes, in order to show you where this scene is taking place, makes it very difficult to follow the story at times. The viewer will find themselves having to go back in order to find out just how the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. I understand that each episode of the web series started with a view of the map, but in the full feature version this could have been done away with as it breaks the flow of the stories.
The art has a retro feel to it. The characters don’t look cartoon like, but they do have a more rigid and square look to them. This immediately seeps you in as it gives you that feeling of nostalgia as you look at illustrations that feel as though you grew up with them and can relate to them. But that is as far as the relation goes, relating to characters is made impossible as their stories are far too fleeting. Though the art is minimalistic, so is the character development and this is where the story loses out most. The animation offers the viewer some great action scenes and some graphic deaths that will leave you pleased, however, you will want more.
Electric City is a good film, however, it had the potential to be a great film. You have Tom Hanks voicing the lead character but unlike Cleveland Carr the story does not manage to pull the trigger. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I recommend it? I would. But viewers need to be prepared as it truly seems as though the feature ends in the middle of nowhere, thanks to the fleeting nature of each story being told.