“The Pact” is what I want to talk to you about, today. I’ve watched horrors, sci-fi, comedies, dramas, and so much more…but have yet to review a strictly bromance-comedy. Well, there was this one cool horror-comedy, but I’m going strictly with the bond of family/best friends, here. The Pact is funny, relatable, and taps into a few things we all can get into.
Tarantula Entertainment presents A Toronto Brothers Film, directed by Matt Toronto, written by Aaron & Matt Toronto. The Pact is based on a true story by these gentlemen, and sometimes good cinema comes from reality. I’m not here to tell you about trials of filmmaking encountered during the making of The Pact, because as any filmmaker will tell you there are blessings and curses. As the audience, you only get to see the movie magic that results. The film stars Neil Brookshire as Grant, Aaron Toronto (who was in “Super Sucker”, which I loved) as Grant’s brother Ancel, Jordan Toronto (talent from our very own Cleveland, OH) as their bartender named Jackie, and Nika Ericson as Charlie playing an interesting role within the brothers’ lives. There are more, but again…if we do the whole cast, this becomes a novel, not a review.
The Pact is film where two brothers are dumped by their respective women, and make a pact to keep away from the females for a whole year. Remember, this is a comedy too, so there are plenty of "cheese" and one-liners to entertain. Comedy within independent film is generally an uphill task, however, this film has zero problem with that and will keep you happy and laughing throughout, but also adds the gem moments where you relate to the characters and their situations. Grant takes in his brother Ancel, who lives on his couch during the year, while Jackie, their bartender, helps keep their pact intact. That rhymed. Then, aside from stalkers and the attentions of women that would make any guy feel good about himself, there’s Charlie the other female friend who becomes the temptress to get between things. She is hot. While the story is not supposed to be very complicated like some Cage or Hanks epic, it’s about real people and choices made. The characters are lovable and well played. It almost is about sex, also, but there is bound to be a lot of cold showers happening when pacts like this are made. One irony of the film is that I had a bartender similar to Jordan Toronto’s character, whom I once had a long-term crush on, so it was good to see some things in this movie I personally can acknowledge. I would have liked there to be more Jackie and Grant scenes, but feel the moves in the film were right. Even the dramatic moments were right and evoke an emotional response out of you. Neil and Nika worked well together, but I won’t spoil that for ya. The whole cast did great, down to the extras. I liked the stalker chick, although stalker chicks can be extremely dangerous.
The production quality was really good, which I expected upon seeing the screener and press kit I received. I could see that there were more choices on preserving quality than taking unwarranted risks that many filmmakers do to push envelopes. I have to give major credit for that, as that is a professional trait where a studio with a few million might consider, over any risky moves. Edits, photography, sound, and music were extremely clean and quality. The aesthetic was more of a made-for-tv movie, perhaps professional cable network quality. Director Matthew Toronto also knows how to direct actors and countless other aspects of film and theatre. In fact, he is Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre. Heck, his credits span the nation in more ways than most filmmakers I’ve met. Aaron is talented in many ways, as well, especially in singer/songwriter capacities, plus acting.
To sum up my experience, I believe this movie represents a funny look at the seriousness of sexuality getting in the way of family bromance. It makes me sad I don’t have a biological brother that close. I have only child syndrome. Caution, you may become superstitious after witnessing the blood oath portrayed in this film. The Pact is a solid comedy for adults, yet is very clean. From a professional filmmaking standpoint, this is a group to get for making your solid content, if they are available. See the film and judge for yourself.