Extra Ordinary, written by a team of writers including Maeve Higgins, is a story of exorcism and satanism with a comedic twist. The film is a parody of the typical ghostbuster movie. (SYJ: ⅘)
Review by FF2 Media intern Sophia Jin
Extra Ordinary opens with a piece of old documentary footage from around the 1980s. “Vincent Dooley” (Risteard Cooper), a man locally known to have supernatural talents, explains various happenings of the supernatural world. Ghosts, for example, are all around us. Things moving mysteriously around us, including balls or wheelie bins, are most likely ghosts at play. In the present day, “Rose Dooley” (Maeve Higgins) and “Sailor Dooley” (Terri Chandler), daughters of Vincent, visit their father’s grave by the roadside. The somber moment becomes funny when Rose says “Sorry I murdered you, daddy.” There is clear remorse, but definite comedy in the delivery.
Rose is a lonely and sweet Irish driving instructor with a knack for the supernatural, just like her father. When she returns home from work, she listens to her voicemails whilst eating yogurt on a yoga ball. All of her messages seem to be about her supernatural talents. People seek her out to help ghosts that are haunting them move on. However, Rose finds this annoying and ignores these messages, until she comes across someone called “Martin Martin” (Barry Ward) asking for driving lessons.
This is where Martin’s brief backstory comes into play. He begins his day by brushing his teeth, however, his mirrors fog up and a message is left on them by a ghost. He goes on to dress himself, where a shirt has already been laid out for him on his bed. As soon as he tries to change the shirt, the door to his wardrobe slams into his head. The ghost of his wife is haunting him. His daughter, “Sarah Martin” (Emma Coleman), gives him an ultimatum to get in touch with Rose to help her mother move on. Martin and Rose go on the driving lesson, when she finds out that he can drive and he needs her supernatural help.
A montage randomly appears and introduces a washed up singer “Christian Winter” (Will Forte), who recently moved into an Irish castle and is working on his new hit. For personal gains, Christian attempts to do a satanic ritual. This is how his and Rose’s path cross, and how she comes out of retirement from her supernatural job. The film is a race against time and against evil.
Extra Ordinary is a comedy that manages to twist something scary into something funny. The group of writers, Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman, Demian Fox, and Maeve Higgins, do an excellent job of engaging the audience in this parody of ghost adventures. Barry Ward’s character “Martin” takes on several personas during his ghost adventures with Rose. Ward portrays each of these characters really well. His and Higgins’ acting meshes together. This duo makes the film enjoyable and fun to watch. The climax isn’t disappointing and the audience remain laughing until the end.
© Sophia Y Jin (3/10/20) FF2 Media
Does Extra Ordinary pass the Bechdel-Wallace test?
Yes, Rose talks about ghosts and her talents.
Photo Credits: IMDb
Comments from Coach Katusha:
Extra Ordinary is a hilarious piece to watch with friends. It is definitely one that stands out—something that deviates away from mainstream comedy-dramas. When Sophia and I first started watching, I thought we were watching the wrong movie…for a while it will be absolutely mind-boggling until you are fully immersed in their cooky world of supernatural meets small town adventure, and a search for purpose.
The writing by Mike Ahern, Demian Fox, Maeve Higgins, and Enda Loughman, is reminiscent of British deadpan humor from films like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Maureen Hughes and Sarah Jones cast the team of actors very successfully, with the awkward but lovable “Rose Dooley” played by writer Maeve Higgins, and the complex character “Martin Martin” played by Barry ward. Of course I cannot forget to mention the spooky and comically dramatic antagonist “Christian Winter” played by Will Forte. The film makes playful use of music from George Brennan and carefully thought out sound design from Martin Pavey. Completely agree with Sophia’s rating! (KIZJ: 4/5)