Title – Extra Ordinary (2019)
Directors – Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman (feature debuts)
Cast – Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Will Forte, Claudia O’Doherty
Plot – Lonely ex-ghost hunter turned driving instructor Rose Dooley (Higgins) finds potential romance in Martin Martin (Ward), who has requested Rose help him with the ghost of his deceased wife, only for the two of them to be caught up in a nefarious plan being plotted by one hit wonder pop star Christian Winter (Forte).
“Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you were dead”
Review by Eddie on 02/06/2020
Embedding their film with a vibe not dissimilar to cult TV shows such as The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place, Irish filmmakers Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman create a unique and sometimes highly effective debut feature that is sure to find itself becoming an underground favorite in the years to come.
Featuring the type of oddball humor and out-there situations that will find some viewers wondering what all the fuss is about and other’s suffering from consistent bouts of sidesplitting laughter, Extra Ordinary lives up to its title, as this low-budget affair takes us on a ghost and demon filled adventure featuring kindly gifted ghost hunter turned single driving instructor Rose Dooley.
In what acts as a star making turn, Dooley is wonderfully played by the films MVP Maeve Higgins, who instills Rose with a heart and soul, as the oddball middle aged no-hoper teams up with Barry Ward’s potential new love interest Martin Martin (yes that is his characters full name) to stop Will Forte’s one hit wonder pop star Christian Winter from offering up Martin’s daughter as a sacrifice to the dark forces, in hope it will see a revival of his failing career.
At its best and most enjoyable when Rose and Martin get to shine together, from awkward driving classes to seemingly unprepared ghost hunts, Extra Ordinary can be very funny and even nicely heartfelt at the best of times but the ever present presence of Forte’s overplayed and mostly annoying Winter and his devilish schemes doesn’t work as well as the rest of the film, weighing the film down at constant intervals, making us wish for simpler times and more nuanced character beats.
It was no doubt a win for the film, a low-budget affair that doesn’t have any right to feel as professional made as it does to get Forte on board but for many international audiences its the lesser known talents that shine most in the film and Ahern’s and Loughman’s well-polished script has some absolute zingers (and some pretty great Ghostbuster references) that the talented Irish cast lap up throughout.
On the basis of this effort it wouldn’t be surprising if Hollywood comes calling for this newly minted directing duo, here’s hoping their next project, if larger in scale and scope doesn’t lose sight of the nicely manicured characters that make sure Extra Ordinary is always watchable, even when its leap sometime fail to reach the heights it sets out to achieve.
Final Say –
With a great performance from Maeve Higgins as the likely to be iconic Rose Dooley, Extra Ordinary is a strong debut effort from some very talented directors whose film is worth tracking down despite its various disappointments.
3 toasted sandwiches out of 5