Combustible Celluloid
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With: John Cusack, Ryan Phillippe, Rachelle Lefevre, Jacki Weaver, Luis Guzmán, Briana Roy, Jandres Burgos, Veronica Faye Foo
Written by: Luke Davies, Carmine Gaeta
Directed by: Alan White
MPAA Rating: R for language and some violence
Running Time: 96
Date: 09/19/2014

Reclaim (2014)

1 Star (out of 4)

Kid Trapping

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Reclaim is a totally routine movie that tries to combine a message about trafficked children with a lowbrow thriller about loved ones going missing in a foreign country. This fear has been better handled in better movies, but Reclaim requires all its characters to be completely dumb, or at least very slow on the draw (even though the main characters reassure themselves that they're smart).

Unable to have a child after a traffic accident, nice couple Shannon (Rachelle Lefevre) Steven (Ryan Phillippe) have come to Puerto Rico to adopt a beautiful little Haitian girl, Nina (Briana Roy), orphaned by the earthquake there. Things go beautifully, except for a creepy guy Benjamin (John Cusack) and his two suspicious cohorts hanging around. After Steven has a strange and violent encounter in a bar, the couple wakes the next morning to find Nina gone. They have been scammed, and taken for around $100,000. But Benjamin has discovered that they have much more in the bank, and he kidnaps them to get it. However, Steven and Shannon are not yet through fighting for their new daughter.

A trip to the bank to pick up the ransom money goes laughably wrong as the good guys and bad guys try to outwit each other with increasingly idiotic moves. Meanwhile, it takes Shannon more than a day to figure out how to escape the kitchen in which she's held hostage. The endless chase scenes are equally uninspired and illogical, but at least Nina is kept mostly safe. John Cusack sometimes appears to be having fun playing the bad guy, but other times just appears to be collecting a paycheck (and having his free Puerto Rican vacation rudely interrupted by filming). Jacki Weaver and Luis Guzman are fun, but only appear in a couple of scenes each.

CD Universe
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