Friday, August 22, 2014

Film Review: McCanick (2013)

McCanick (Review)
United States/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"I liked the story, especially the climax, but it takes too many shortcuts."

When Simon Weeks (Cory Monteith), a young man with a lot of secrets, is released from prison, Eugene McCanick (David Morse) goes down an obsessive path to track him down.

McCanick is a crime-mystery film that follows McCanick as he tracks Simon, the young man McCanick put behind bars for murder. The story also follows McCanick during the past, as it slowly unveils what happened between McCanick and Simon. There's a little bit of unnecessary chitchat blended in, but the story mostly gets to the point. The climax was interesting and well-executed. I liked bits and pieces of the ending, too, but it felt illogical and abrupt for the most part.

McCanick's main issue is its cliché, contrived, and all-too-familiar plot. The story is simple enough to jump straight into and the mystery is also engaging, but it's held back by the aforementioned issues. There are scenes that you have to question because they're either illogical or contrived. "Why did that happen? " or "What kind of reasoning is that?" are questions you'll likely be asking. I liked the story, especially the climax, but it takes too many shortcuts.

David Morse is hit-or-miss with his performance; he's perfectly competent until the role becomes too emotionally demanding, then it becomes unnatural. Cory Monteith was good, though. In fact, the supporting cast was all-around great. The film's cinematography was okay, and the music was great. Josh C. Waller's direction is good, too. The writing from Daniel Noah feels half-baked, though -- there's a great story in there, but it's held back by plot contrivances and clichés.

Overall, McCanick is a good crime film. It has an interesting mystery, some tense and suspenseful scenes, and a surprising climax. But, the story treads very familiar territory, it's contrived and cliché, and the actual ending is disappointing. It's a good time killer, though, and not nearly as bad as some other viewers claim -- definitely worth viewing if you have a Netflix subscription and if you're a fan of the genre.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood.

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