09th Sep2015

‘The Forger’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: John Travolta, Abigail Spencer, Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Ehle, Tye Sheridan, Anson Mount, Marcus Thomas, Travis Aaron Wade | Written by Richard D’Ovidio | Directed by Philip Martin

forger-dvd

The Forger is the latest star vehicle for John Travolta, a man whose career has had more ups and downs than a yoyo and – judging by this flick – looks set to be forever destined for the direct to DVD market alongside his Face/Off co-star Nicolas Cage (oh the irony). Of course this ISN’T the worst film Travolta has in his ouevre, that’s left to the likes of Battlefield Earth and Chains of Gold, but it’s certainly nothing to shout about.

Travolta stars as the worlds best art forger, banged up in jail with only 10 months to serve, who makes a deal with crime boss Keegan (Anson Mount), to get an early release from prison but in return he must pull of an impossible heist. He must forge a renowned painting by Claude Monet, steal the original from the museum where it is displayed and replace it with a replica so perfect that no one will notice…

This is an odd film. Part tearjerking cancer drama, part heist movie, The Forger is all over the place tonally – swinging from sombre father/son moment to brutal beatdown in the blink of an eye. And never do both “halves” of this film ever gel. It’s like the scripts for two separate movies have been slammed together to try and make one interesting whole. But it’s not interesting, in fact The Forger is about as far from interesting as you can get.

Travolta shuffles through the film as if hes thinking about being elesewhere the whole time, whilst British TV director Philip Martin shoots the film with all the panache of a low-budget TV production, i.e. totally flat! The only real high point in The Forger is Abigail Spencer (TV’s Suits) who stars as an undercover cop investigating Keegan and hs shady nightclub. At least she looks like she’s committed to her role even if its one that’s as cliched as they come.

At least the heist portion of The Forger tries to be exciting, in an Ocean’s Eleven way, not a quirky The Heist way (one of the better modern heist flicks). Yet even the execution of the painting heist (as insane as it is) can’t save this film from anything but sheer mundanity.

The Forger is out now on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment.

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