Documentary Review “A Director’s Journey: Hurricane McLean”

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First, the Recap:

It takes guts to follow your dreams. It also requires a level of fortitude and perseverance to see those dreams come true, a tireless work ethic, integrity, and awareness that even in the face of failure, you have to find the means to pick yourself up and move on.  For  Canadian actor/stuntman turned TV/film director Larry “Hurricane” McLean, those were exact attitudes he embodied to become the successful entertainment professional he is. Very self-effacing, yet confident in his abilities and accomplishments, plus leaving no doubt of his skills gained over years of experience in the industry, McLean’s entire demeanor reflects his settled personality and succinct wisdom while also hinting at the playful yet reserved humor that lurks within.

Raised by parents whom he truly and deeply admired, McLean’s upbringing was one of being advised to “work hard and be honest”, and this has translated through the myriad of adventures life has brought him through, tempered by a father’s unconditional love. From days attempting the acting field, to becoming a Canadian Evel Knievel, which in turn lead to his first official stunt work in TV, thus landing McLean his first directing gigs, the rest became history as the lead chair is where he was soon able to call his permanent career home. Working since with stars ranging from John Candy, Leslie Neilsen, Val Kilmer, Britney Spears, and beyond, it’s more than evident passion, steadfastness, determination, and commitment to what he loves equals success. Oh, and there’s Bean and Louie, too!

Next, my Mind:

As has so often occurred in this reviewer’s own film reviewing journey, the amount of engaging, informative, and entertaining material that can be presented in only ten short minutes still amazes.  For writer/director Katarzyna Kochany, it only took this abbreviated interval to illicit one man’s incredibly relatable and genuine narrative about his life, career path, and lessons learned from being in and around an industry not always known for restraint, composure, virtue, or honesty. Attributes which McLean certainly strives to encompass not just within himself, but extend to all those he works with as well, this solidly shot mix of personal interview footage combined with images highlighting successes past and present all work together wonderfully and illustrate the qualities of a man just plain happy to be where he’s at.

To that point, and as indicated via various wordings above, it is exactly McLean’s down-to-earth, unpretentious manner that makes this whole project worth the view in itself, as in so many ways, it really flies in the face of what many of us might think of when it comes to our own concepts about people in “the business”. With laid back and soft spoken tone, McLean deftly navigates the narration of his world with poise and ease, making us as the viewer feel like we might as well be right there in his living room having a casual conversation with a good friend. He very much would be the kind of director, the kind of person, who would be a dream to work with, open to other’s ideas, while having the whole picture of what he wants in mind.

In summary, “A Director’s Journey: Hurricane McLean” is short and to the point, yet delivers a very intelligent, appealing, and fascinating perspective of what it is to pursue what you love. McLean’s own words–“If you’re passionate, and you love it, which you have to be to be in this business, never give up. Never, ever give up. Just follow your dream, keep digging. Start at the bottom, which most times you have to, but never give up. Just take the rejection, let it roll off your back, and move on to the next project”–speak so deeply to this reviewer’s own journey to date, I would hope others aiming for film industry-related goals, or any life goals, will heed this excellent, encouraging, inspiring logic.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!



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