Tuesday, September 4, 2012

COMPLIANCE - REVIEW

I was excited to see this film because of all of the buzz surrounding it.  I only ever saw one trailer for it and it really stuck with me.  It is based on actual events that happened throughout the United States and the film can become uncomfortable to watch at certain points.

The basis of the story is a man phones into a fast food restaurant claiming to be a police office and instructs the manager on duty to bring one of the young girls working in the back office and hold her on theft chargers.  The office states he has a lady who was a customer in the restaurant who had money stolen from her purse by this young worker while she was working the cash register.  Through out the ordeal the officer instructs the manager that a strip search needs to be done in order to see if they can find the money that was stolen.  What starts off as a very well made film falls into the realm of idiocy and becomes so over the top unbelievable that it becomes a movie that is not worth the time to watch.

Here is my cutting issue with the film.  The movie is well directed and and a very strong cast but the story just goes so far off the deep end that it falls hard and leaves you just wondering how stupid can people actually be.  I know it may seem like humanity's IQ has taken a dip over the years but this is just ridiculous.  Throughout the movie I just kept scratching my head in amazement that people who be this stupid to believe what the guy on the other end of the phone was telling them to do.  If you watch this film I think you will feel the same and start shaking your head as to how bad the chain of events go. 

Craig Zobel, one of the creators of Homestar Runner wrote and directed this movie.  As I said earlier the directing is strong. Craig works the camera well and paces the film beautifully.  Where it fails at is the story.  Even though it's based on documented events, it just seems like it goes to far in a sense that it loses it's credibility and in turn makes your time watching the movie pointless.  I think he Craig has talent and can do good things in the world of film, but this movie isn't one of those good things.

The talent in the acting department is very strong especially with Ann Dowd as Sandra the store manager and Dreama Walker as Becky, the employee that is accused of stealing.  The parts in the film demand strong displays of emotion and the actors and actresses I feel give it their all, no matter how outlandish the situations become.  The support cast is great and everyone gives a real emotional performance.

As I said earlier the movie at times is hard to watch.  It gets very dark and un-nerving and sometimes will leave you wondering what is it exactly you are watching.  Normally I like the un-nerving, and un-relentless style of film but this one took it too far past the unbelievable line for me and left me just shaking my head and wonder why would people in this type of situation not ask certain questions.  Like if the police officer tells you they have your regional manager on the other line and they ask you to strip an employee, why wouldn't you ask to speak to your regional manager to see what their thoughts are on this.  We have to remember just because someone is on the other end of the call, we are still able to make a decision whether or not we want to go through with something as demeaning as that.  It does get worse later on in the  movie and you will be left wondering, how the hell could it have gotten as far as it did. 

I give this movie 2 stars out of 5 because of the strong acting, espeically Ann Dowd, she did an amazing job with the character Sandra.  If you really want to see this film just wait for Netflix or Redbox, or even cable.  It's not a movie I'd rush out and see anytime soon.  Till next time my friends.

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