The Invisible Pilot (2022)

Title: The Invisible Pilot

Year: 2022

Genre:  Biography | Crime | Documentary |

Seasons: 1 |

Runtime:  169 min

Director:  Phil Loft & Ari Mark

Starring: Gary Betzner, Ray Buffer, Galen Trine

6.2/10

 

Follows the story of a seemingly happy husband and father who unexpectedly jumped off a bridge in 1977, and years later it’s found that there might have been hypnosis, secret identities and dangerous double life and law-breaking involved.

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The HBOs documentary The Invisible Pilot gives more flaws than one wishes for. Spanning over three episodes, extending a simple story that could have been told in lesser than two hours and 49 minutes. It could have skipped the whole political glorifying approach to drugs and the hidden agenda.

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It’s a story of a family man that tries to fake his suicide and says fuck you to the family to become a drug dealer, pissing Ronald Reagan off during the 1980s.  There’s so much deceit, lies and bullshit between the family members that don’t come as shocking news. 

It’s a mini-documentary in a series format that could have been told in less than 60 minutes. It’s the execution that makes the whole story unwatchable and tedious. There’s a constant dramatic soundtrack playing in the background. There’s an actor playing Gary’s role, pretending it as a visual aid for the audience. There’s no connection between emotions or time spent till afterthought. As it’s told this way, with no knowledge of how to make a watchable docuseries, the directing duo doesn’t seem to know what to do.

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The editing is one of the major flaws, spoiling the overall experience of the episodes. It has a quick method to tell its story. It’s a five-second cut between each clip making the whole concept nauseated. The filmmaker couldn’t even edit out the question to make the plot flow easier. No, this forced storytelling is what drags these filmmakers back. There’s subtle telling to what this is actually about and it’s hard to decipher what that actually is. Then it’s a lot of action, a lot of talking but no concrete actions. A pure disappointment from start to finish. 

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