12 March 2018 | ginocox-206-336968
A serviceable low-budget noir police story
"Bent" is a fairly typical low-budget direct-to-video noir police story with a few satisfying plot twists, adequate production values and a good performance by Andy Garcia in a supporting role. It is not cathartic or cerebral and doesn't offer anything memorable in terms of gunfights, pyrotechnics, stunt work, stage combat or car chases. Even Sofia Vergara's first onscreen shower scene is unfortunately not particularly memorable. The script is weak and needed a couple of rewrites before it would have been ready for production. The opening scene is not sufficiently well crafted to justify or explain the consequences.
I watched this film shortly after viewing "Downsizing," which I knew had received discouraging reviews. I wasn't even particularly intrigued by the story, but it had a great cast and a big budget, so I decided to give it a try. I wound up watching it in about six segments over three days. "Bent" was produced with perhaps a tenth of the budget and without some of the top-level talent, but it held sufficient interest for me to watch it in one sitting, although I admit to engaging in a little multitasking during a few of the slower parts. It is not a great film, but suffices as a pleasant diversion.
Sofia Vergara delivers a credible performance as the femme fatale. Karl Urban does as well as can be expected with the material he's given, as a brooding detective out to clear his name. Andy Garcia delivers a nuanced, multidimensional performance. The major problem is the script, which is underwritten and relies too heavily on exposition.
I'm giving the movie eight stars, which is generous to a fault, but intended to offset a few reviews that seem unfairly harsh.