There’s something that must be stated up entrance about I Am DB Cooper, a weird documentary by T. J. Regan (Hole Yr), that loosely retells the true story of a mysterious hijacker who jumped from a airplane together with his ransom in 1971 and was by no means heard from once more. Should you’ve ever learn, seen, or realized something in any respect in regards to the incident—it’s captured folks’s creativeness for many years and given rise to a bunch of theories—you aren’t going to be taught something new from this movie.
The movie guarantees a complete lot, however please bear in mind there aren’t any vital revelations to the over 50-year-old case.
You’ll be launched to a person who claims that he’s really DB Cooper (Rodney Bonnifield). And, with beer in hand, he’ll throw out a complete lot of details about what occurred that day, why he supposedly did it, and the way he’s stored quiet about it for therefore lengthy. If all that sounds far-fetched and like a flimsy premise to make a complete documentary round, it solely will get worse.
I Am DB Cooper follows a documentary crew as they try to search out concrete proof to assist Bonnifield’s claims, their scenes interspersed with prolonged reenactments of the 1971 hijacking. Neither of those parts play off each other in any significant means. As an alternative, the 2 narratives pull in several instructions: The previous presents an uncritical portrait of a person spinning some tales earlier than he begins a jail sentence, and the latter leans closely into quirky sendup gangster comedy. There are attention-grabbing nuggets in every, however the two elements conflict in ways in which undercut each.
There was room for an attention-grabbing documentary to be made about Bonnifield—it is fascinating to think about why somebody would declare to be DB Cooper—however I Am DB Cooper by no means friends into the advanced character examine realm. As an alternative, all concerned merely take Bonnifield at his phrase, making use of solely the lightest of challenges to his story. The documentary crew seem to have actually wished this story to be true. They’re swept alongside, however for the viewers, every thing feels too contrived to observe.
Contemplating the care put into the movie’s reenactments, there is a sense that the documentary may have been scrapped so the crew may totally decide to a fictionalized dramedy. As an alternative, it tries to have it each methods and succeeds at neither. Whereas the story of the disappearing parachuting man will endure, I Am DB Cooper will barely be a footnote.
I Am DB Cooper is now enjoying at Varsity Theatre. This evaluation initially ran on our sister website, Portland Mercury.