Monday, March 3, 2014

Film Review: Resolution (2012)

Resolution (Review)
United States/2012 
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Streaming
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"I enjoyed the trip, but was disappointed at the destination."

Michael Danube (Peter Cilella), a graphic designer from the city, visits his former best friend, Chris Daniels (Vinny Curran), a junkie, back at his hometown with the intention to save him...

Resolution follows Michael as he visits Chris at a run-down house where he has been smoking crack, shooting at birds, and working on a novel with a stray dog. Chris refuses to go to rehab, so Michael knocks Chris out and cuffs him to forcefully stop his addiction. Michael's own sanity is tested when he continues to find different types of media that is telling a story. Who's leaving this content behind? Is it all in their heads? The film follows this path of mystery until it reaches an intense climax, but fails to deliver a satisfying ending -- understandable and open-for-interpretation, but unnecessarily ambiguous and unfulfilling.

Resolution plays more like a slow-burn psychological mystery than a horror film, which is what it is categorized as by the distributors. The story moves at a slow yet engaging pace, and keeps you wondering from beginning to end. There are some spots where the film lost its grip on me, but it would eventually capture my full attention again and again. The story seemed to lack some focus and clarity, especially during the end. I enjoyed the trip, but was disappointed at the destination. As for horror, it wasn't particularly frightening in any sense; it wasn't psychologically scarring or a jump-scare gallery, it really wasn't scary at all.

The acting is competent enough. Peter Cilella is good as the lead, but lacked screen presence and charisma, a bit bland. Vinny Curran delivers a mediocre performance, partly due to his actual performance and the writing; he's not a believable addict, every line involves the word "crack" as if addicts actually speak that way. (Michael: "Want some coffee?" Chris: "Does it have any crack?" and so on.) The film is nicely shot, the camerawork was a bit sloppy, though. The direction is consistent, and the writing, for the most part, is great. Not really much to discuss on the technical side of the film, though.

Overall, Resolution is a great film with an ill-fitted resolution. I believe I understand what it's trying to get at, but it just doesn't really sit well. The mystery and psychological aspects, the slow-burn, and the first two acts of the story are great, but the finale is too ambitious for its own good; the two lead actors are barely decent, as well.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood, and some drug use.

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