Far be it from me to rip into a movie like Court of Lonely Royals, especially considering it's the sort of movie that was made with about $1000 in change, some dental floss, a pack of chips and a lamp from IKEA. It's a movie I really wanted to like and I did in some regards, don't get me wrong, but it's just that it's the sort of movie that I wish had gone through a few more stages of script development and had been given a decent budget so that writer/director Rohan Michael Hoole could do what he really wanted to do.
Court of Lonely Royals is a techno-thriller set on the streets of Melbourne. It definitely looks like it cost a lot more than it did, although I could have without the annoying switches to black and white. What was that about? Set in the "near future" (as the DVD box, but not the actual movie, tells us) where everything is neon and bathed in red and orange fleurescents, the movie has a sheen that reminds of something by Wong Kar-Wai. Wong Kar-Wai lite sure, but I think the visual aesthetic was definitely there.
It was about half way through the movie though that I decided that it was Hoole's screenplay that was letting the movie down. The visuals are there, the music was there - by the Midnight Juggernauts so it should be expected - and of the four main actors Ayse Tezel and particularly Samantha Noble have commanding presence, but even they have trouble getting their mouths around the sticky dialogue. Leah De Neise unfortunately seems to get stuck with a lot of it and must sprout silly phrases like "Holy Coco Pops!", although her character is incredibly stupid so maybe it was intentional? The director, now that he's gotten his first film out there, could benefit from perhaps working from somebody else's screenplay or collaborating. His tact with visuals doesn't extend to writing scenes where a character decides whether to drink coke or pepsi or when a businessman asks to be raped by a prostitute using tobasco sauce.
I hope that Rohan Michael Hoole is able to make more films, because he was certainly going somewhere with Court of Lonely Royals - what a great title by the way, even if I have no idea how it ties in to the movie - and the idea that in the future the Government will employ people to murder citizens is a good one, so there's definite groundwork that has been made, but as a movie to sit down and watch, it is unfortunately too flawed in it's foundations to fully work. I'd give it a B- for effort, but that's silly, so C