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The Tompa City Menace

Directed By: Jonathan Vaughan

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Length: 14:00
Released: January 5th, 2007

Content Advisory:  mild violence.

Director's Comments

In this sequel to The Man with the Top Hat, the infamous criminal's origins are explored, and the story from the first film is continued and expanded, following the Man with the Top Hat as he attempts to escape Tompa City. Created in 2007, this is still my longest film.

Staff Review

Ah, The Tompa City Menace. It has been years since I watched it last, but as far as my perception of the film, not much has changed. Sometimes, when you watch something and then revisit it after a time, you see all its little flaws and imperfection, but with The Tompa City Menace, this was not the case.
When you see a film like The Tompa City Menace, you know it was directed by Nick Durron. His style shines throughout this film, and although there are small errors, you really get the feeling that he knows what he wants, and will settle for no less. The most prominent way this is revealed is his visual tendencies. This film, like all of his later productions, carries an air that feels almost computer generated. Its cleanliness and shine, artificial. However, this isn't really a bad thing. It actually suits the film perfectly. It is so outlandish and stylized that you know it was intentional, and that this is the world the director wanted you to see. In that pursuit the visuals do well, with crisp images, skilful animation, and a unified color palate. Sound design is equally strange, another trademark of Nick Durron's films. Most main characters speak in voices that are quite odd, with lots of high pitched voices or elongated pronunciations, and many viewers may find this unappealing. Others will just see it as another part of the film's creative direction and not be bothered. One thing is certain though, Durron's voices are easily the most divisive aspect of his film for a vast majority of audiences, so be prepared for that. Finally, the plot. This film has a fairly simple storyline, although somewhere around halfway through the film it hits a speedbump, changing from a prequel to an earlier Durron film, The Man With the Top Hat, to a sequel, which some could find confusing. It is made more complicated by the fact that the Youtube film is split at this point, so if Part 2 seems incongruous with Part 1, you are on the right film, it's just a major plot change. Overall though, I wouldn't say the plot is bad, it just feels a bit simple (aside from the previously mentioned issue) for the amount of detail put into other aspects of the film, making it seem rather out of place. Still though, the story is entertaining, with lots of small jokes that you have to watch closely to notice, and both aspects make the plot feel- well, fun. It's things like that which matter most to this reviewer.
The Tompa City Menace is definitely worth a watch, if only for the great technical details and little bits of quirky humour inserted throughout the film. If you view it with only entertainment on your mind, you will not be disappointed. So, is this the film to see if you want a film that looks beautiful, is easy to get into while not lacking in length, and has lots of details that make it worth the watch?
Yezz mazzter!