johnlink ranks RESTRAINT (2008)

So we made the switch from Cox to Fios this week. One benefit was that I got FearNet back. I figured I was overdue to venture over and find something. Instead of some terrible cheese, I found this nifty little Australian suspense flick co-starring Stephen Moyer (Vampire Bill from TRUE BLOOD). I love finding decent movies I’d never even heard of!

I watched RESTRAINT (2008) on 5.16.12. It was my first viewing of the film.

This movie really features just three people. The homicidal Ron (Travis Fimmel) and his girlfriend Dale (Teresa Palmer) are on the run and end up in the home of the agoraphobic Andrew (Moyer). Ron threatens Andrew, who overs them money through a scheme which will take a few days to see to fruition. As a result, the three leads end up in the house together for that time, as Andrew tries to manipulate his own survival.

Nice premise, which doesn’t always deliver fully. Some of the scenarios are a stretch, and the writing of Andrew is somewhat weak, even if Moyer’s performance is nice. In general, the biggest flaw the film has involves the consistency of the characters as they are written. All three actors perform well their parts, but the script requires them to make some unnecessary reaches.

The movie looks cool, and the interiors (which most of the movie is spent in) are nicely designed. I like the manner in which the film is directed, covering most of the warts the script leaves behind. Unfortunately, even good direction can’t totally save the final twist, which is born out of too much coincidence and contrivance to be believable. Director David Denneen does a nice job with some subtle(and some not-so-subtle)  foreshadowing in an effort to avoid the ending as feeling tacked on, but it still doesn’t feel ‘right’, at least not for me.

All three actors really do a nice job, with Teresa Palmer really lighting the screen up. She is sexually charged while also being completely vulnerable. She knows she has the power of sexuality, even if she is not comfortable with how she is using it. One scene in a bathroom feels mis-written based on where he character eventually goes, but her performance is inspired throughout. She’s made her way overseas in some kid fare, namely SORCERER’S APPRENTICE and  BEDTIME STORIES, but I think she’s earned a big, intense role with her work here.

This is a movie which, despite its flaws, is worth seeking out. I enjoyed it a bunch, and was glad to have stumbled upon it!

SCORES

FILM: 6; MOVIE: 7; ACTING: 8; WRITING: 4

6+7+8+4+0=25

FINAL SCORE: 6.25

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~ by johnlink00 on May 17, 2012.

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