Thursday, July 2, 2015

RECKLESS (2014)

RECKLESS (2014)

Label: Artsploitation Films
Release Date: July 14th 2015
Region Code: A

Rating: Unrated
Duration: 90 Minutes 
Audio: Dutch Dolby Digital 5.1 with Optional English SDH Subtitles
Video: Anamoprhic Widescreen (2.35:1)
Director: Joram Lürsen

Cast: Marwan Kenzari, Tygo Gernandt, Sarah Chronis

Synopsis: Laura Temming wakes up to find herself bound to a bed in a sound-insulated vacant apartment. Two masked men strip the clothes from her body, place her in a track suit, and take photos that will be used to obtain ransom money from Laura’s wealthy father. As the clock ticks, Laura discovers that she may have a relationship with one of the kidnappers that she never expected…and that the two men may have a relationship with each other that no one could have expected. With more twists than one could imagine, RECKLESS is ingeniously seductive.

I gave this one a spin completely blind about what I was in for and almost immediately I knew I had watched this very story unfold before and sure enough I had. Turns out that this is the Dutch remake of the British thriller The Disappearance of Alice Creed (2009) from a few years back, a film I enjoyed quite a bit. This one sticks surprisingly close to the original source material, a kidnapping/ransom thriller about three people confined to a small space entangled in a web of deceit and greed. 

Laura (Sarah Chronis) is the kidnapped woman, while Rico (Marwan Kenzari) and Victor (Tygo Gernandt) are the kidnappers, a duo with a deep prison formed bond and a simple yer well executed scheme to walk away with four million Euros, by kidnapping and ransoming the strong willed daughter of a real estate millionaire. Chromis is great as the strong willed victim who gives her captots, one in particularly quite a difficult time. Gernandt just has one of those faces, a storied face with loads of character, he reminded me of Michael Rooker (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer) with an even deadlier scowl on his face, that's some serious scowl!

The film is tightly woven and fast paced, peppered with enough twists and revelation to keep fresh, unspooling with a taughtness I could appreciate it and not too damn clever for it's own good, I love a good twist but being  little too clever for your own good doesn't appeal to me.  

Set mostly in one small apartment location, with a cast of just three, this one gets claustrophobic by design pretty quick and as the deceit and distrust begins to permeate the air it is like a rope tightening around your neck ...and you know it won't be long before you're gasping for air. It should be noted though that it's not all deadly serious either, there's a subtle black streak of humor running through the movie that makes for a highly satisfying movie experience, this is thriller I can get behind, one that delivers the goods, even if it's not original -- it is a remake after all, but even beyond that it's just a good solid thriller.  

My only beef with the film is that I was already familiar with the source material and as such it held very few surprises for me, but the storytelling is solid, the cinematography is stylish and the cast is top notch. If you are familiar with the original I wouldn't worry about it completely ruining your viewing, the material holds up very well, and stands up to a revisit through different director's eyes. Its the rare remake that can hold up to the original film, and I sort of love the delicious irony of  an English language film being remade by a foreign director and completely owning the material. 3/5 

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