Toby Blackwood’s disappearance is a humorous film that hit the screens on December 20 under the direction of Joe Ahern and co-writing of Doug Mellard.
The screenplay of the movie aims to bring more complexity to the key characters and features Grant Harvey, Joseph Russo, Jeremy Luke, Doug Mellard, Joe Ahern, Todd Giebenhain, Arjay Smith, Luis Guzmán, Doug Benson, and other well-known comedians.
Mellard, Dan Riddle, Flynn Fletcher, and Katie Middleton served as the producers for the film, which has been acquired by Freestyle Digital Media for global video-on-demand (VOD) rights.
The movie follows the story of Toby Blackwood (Doug Mellard), a popular figure on YouTube, who vanishes, and takes a comic approach to conspiracy theories. Instead of adopting the traditional thriller approach where the audience is worried about the missing character, the film teases individuals like Toby.
In the movie The Vanishing of Toby Blackwood, two friends, Wes and Luke, set out to track down a YouTube personality known for his conspiracy theories, who disappears during the pandemic while they are stuck in their homes.
Wes, portrayed by Joe Ahern (who also co-wrote and directed the film), is a man recently divorced, battling with depression and the seclusion of the pandemic, while Luke, played by Grant Harvey, is inclined to delve into conspiracy theories.
The movie revolves around the two friends as they seek clues and unravel the mystery of Toby’s disappearance through virtual interactions with various actors, including Luis Guzmán, Rick Gomez, Doug Benson, and Dan Cummins.
Although the intention is to delve deeper into the main characters and their struggles, the film eventually becomes a string of standalone comedic skits with a loosely connecting theme that struggles to drive the primary storyline forward.
Despite some entertaining appearances and a strong desire to infuse humor into a dark period, The Disappearance of Toby Blackwood ultimately loses its momentum. It feels like a film that viewers are ready to be over with, much like the pandemic itself.
The Vanishing of Toby Blackwood is an original comedy film that delves into the trials of lockdown and solitude during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Wes and Luke attempt to crack the case of Toby’s disappearance, they are compelled to depend on virtual conversations and online research, mirroring the experiences of many people during the pandemic.
The key characters in the film, Wes and Luke, are relatable and well-defined, with their individual struggles impacted by the pandemic.
Wes, a man grappling with depression after a recent divorce, must confront his loneliness and lack of purpose as he lingers at home. Meanwhile, Luke, a conspiracy buff, becomes even more absorbed in his research while confined to his residence.
Despite its comedic approach, The Vanishing of Toby Blackwood addresses significant themes such as the effects of isolation on mental well-being and the hazards of conspiracy theories. It also stars an array of comedians, adding to its comedic draw.
However, the movie’s storyline lacks coherence, giving the impression of a series of standalone sketches rather than a unified narrative. This can make it challenging for viewers to fully engage with the story and its characters.
All in all, The Vanishing of Toby Blackwood presents a light-hearted and enjoyable interpretation of the challenges of lockdown and solitude during the pandemic. However, it may not completely satisfy viewers seeking a more captivating and cohesive story.