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Blehhhh, this is one messy feeling movie. It's never following a good or clear enough main plot line and it feels all over the place with its storytelling and many different characters.

No, it's not the worst movie you can watch but there basically also is no reason for you to ever watch this movie in the first place. Despite a promising sounding premise and impressive cast-list, this never becomes an engaging or even very good movie, mainly due to the poor story and character handling.

This movie is directed by first-time director Chris Brinker, (also his last movie. He sadly died over a year ago) so maybe that explains why the movie is feeling like such an incredibly messy one. The problem really is that it's never following a strong enough main plot line, or perhaps I should rather say that it absolutely never seems that way. The story itself actually still seems pretty good and interesting but the way it all gets told lets things come across as anything but good or very interesting. The story is lacking focus and for the longest time it isn't even really clear what direction the movie will be going in and what it's main goal and purpose is so to speak.

The movie basically keeps jumping from the one scene to the other and things just don't always feel connected well- and naturally enough. It's also really because of the fact that the movie has a few too many characters in it and never picks one main character. Is it the Willem Dafoe character? Is it the Matt Dillon one? After having finished watching this movie, I really can't tell. i also really don't know who the movie wanted us to sympathize with. Basically all of the characters in this movie are some dark and edgy ones, who also quite often cross the line. Maybe it all could have worked out, if only the characters were some better developed ones, with some more redeeming quality to them, that we also could understand better and sympathize with more. But the movie as it is hardly is an engaging one, which really is mostly due to its weak characters and the poor character handling. Not even any of the fine actors in the movie can prevent this.

It also feels that the movie is stuck somewhere between being a raw and gritty thriller and a more slick, Hollywood-style, thriller, with all of the usual clichés and big action scenes in it. The one moment it tries to shock and be realistic, while the other things clearly feel too exaggerated and simplified. There's never a very good and effective balance between things and the movie seems too confused and indecisive about what it's trying to be and how the viewer should take the movie. Should we enjoy it as entertainment? Should we be shocked and moved by any of the drama and violence? Please don't ask me, for I have no idea.

All in all, it just is a movie that never works out very well. Nothing about it is truly horrible but it's still lacking in some basic stuff such as some good storytelling and character handling. Who knows, in the hands of a more experienced director, who truly knew what he was doing and had a better goal in mind, this still could have worked out as a decent enough movie. Now, it's just barely watchable enough but definitely nothing worth recommending.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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