2 January 2014 | Marc_Action
Low Rent x10
I don't think I've ever seen choreography of action sequences this sloppy or acting this horrible. Talk about low rent! (Starting off a review like this, you know what's coming is bad. But read on!) By the way, has Tom Arnold fallen this far from A-List? Come to think of it, was he ever really A-List?
Anyway, Restitution is a film directed and co-written by Lance Kawas. If you've never heard of him, don't beat yourself up too badly. Nobody has... (Moving on!)
The film follows the actions of a rookie author, Alex Forrester, as he lands in a sleepy town on Lake Michigan trying to uncover the truth behind a pair of odd killings committed by a highly intrusive, but otherwise decent, insurance investigator. The insurance investigator then ends up dead, himself. Forrester intends to write a book on his findings, but if he digs too deep, he might end up dead just like the insurance investigator.
There are a few plot twists along the way as we build up to the climax and then there's a final plot twist at the very end that puts everything that precedes it into perspective. Some savvy viewers might call the big plot twist way before the ending. If you do call it, then get up and pop in another movie right away! If others are still watching, quickly leave the room and find something else better to do. Like watching a cup of ice melt. Why? Because despite the horrible directing, acting, dialog, cinematography, and everything else, the plot was the only thing remotely interesting Restitution had going for it. So, if you figure it out before the ending, you'll be really angry because nothing else is worth the wait. Furthermore, I don't even think the ending was a big enough payout for the prolonged suspense the writers created to get to the end result.
Another major problem is Kawas' inability to commit to a specific genre, especially early on. At times I didn't know if I was watching a comedy, a mystery, a lost footage film, or even a spoof flick. Directing 101: it's hard for an audience to take a film seriously if they're too confused about what direction the "director" is taking them.
I think if this film had been given a larger budget and great writers that would have tweaked the ending and delivered decent dialog, it could have been a hit. The plot had plenty of potential. However, suspense and a decent plot aside, everything else about this film screams "low rent" to the 10th power. It stinks!