Face Value (2001)

PG-13   |    |  Drama, Thriller

Face Value (2001) Poster

A thriller about false identities.


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28 March 2003 | MovieAddict2016
| A Guilty Pleasure
Face Value

This movie is about as average as they come. But for being a made-for-TV film, it's not all that bad.

Scott Baio, ex-child star in real life, plays a young man who goes to visit an old friend of his who resides in California. His friend's got it all: Nice house, great car, lots of neat accessories, friends, and, or course, women. But after Baio's friend mysteriously disappears, and Baio suspects foul play in a boating accident, Baio adapts to the persona of his friend for a while. But this idea backfires when the bad guys who killed his friend start coming after Baio, thinking they didn't succeed in their job. Or is that what it's all about?

This film is about as average as they come. We've seen it all before, and much, much better. But for being a television movie, it's not half bad. Scott Baio's not the worst actor in the world, even if the others in the film rank high in the "bad actor" category.

Director Michael Miller wanders around helplessly trying to decide where his prized film should head--it ends up in the gutter, for the main part, but let's face it: This movie is nowhere near as bad as it could have become.

The script by James G. Hirsch is right out of a TV film, with things like, "Hey, cowboy!" and weird catchphrases for the characters. The dialogue is stiff and weak--but again, not as bad as it could have been.

The plot--what little of it there is--is so average it's mind-numbingly bad. Everything that happens is utterly predictable and there is not one moment of real suspense. But then again, it's a television movie, so I can't blame it too much. I sat down to watch this movie with the lowest of expectations, and I came out with a bit higher of a standard for made-for-TV movies.

"Face Value" is awful as a film itself, but as a TV movie? It's not all that bad. To tell you the truth, it was a bit of a guilty pleasure as I watched it late at night on Friday. A nice film to relax you and take you out for a bit. Just don't look upon it with critical eyes, and you'll find yourself actually enjoying it.

1/5 stars on a level of regular film, 3/5 when compared to TV films, brings the average to 2/5 stars.

John Ulmer

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Plot Summary


Drama | Thriller

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