The Proposal both contains surprises and is a surprise. The story is suspenseful and tight, acting solid, and direction skilled, all better than I had been expecting. Undercover cop Terry Martin (Nick Moran) and his new partner Susan Reese (Jennifer Esposito) infiltrate a crime lord's underground operation. But Reese, anxious to leave her desk job behind, pushes too quickly to get close to Big Boss Simon Bacig (Stephen Lang), and soon Martin doesn't know who he can trust. Figuring out exactly who is on whose side rapidly becomes an intriguing puzzle for the viewer.
The believable acting and storyline plus lack of any significant plot holes are a refreshing change from what Hollywood often churns out. This film won't insult your intelligence with gratuitous violence, unbelievable gun fights or unwarranted car chases; the R rating probably should have been PG-13. Esposito seems genuine and comfortable in front of the camera. Unfortunately Moran's performance is marred by what I assume to be a speech impediment of the actor ("wobbewy in pwogwess"), which distracts at times. Lang is convincing as the crime boss with an inflated ego who is used to getting whatever he wants. You'll recognize character actor William Davis who plays FBI Agent Gruning with an understated appeal. An interesting mix of flashbacks and flashforwards from director Richard Gale will taunt you with clues about the mystery.
No, this movie is not without weaknesses. Until Esposito can smooth out her New York accent, she'll be relegated to playing either ethnic or tough girl roles, otherwise she has the looks and talent for more significant acting jobs. Setting and filming the movie in New York or Chicago, rather than some unnamed generic city, would have added authenticity. The background music could have been better. Still, definitely worth a view, especially if you are fond of the genre.
14 out of 16 found this helpful