13th Jun2018

‘Moving Parts’ Review

by Philip Rogers

Stars: Kris Reilly, T.J. Storm, Harley Wallen, Calhoun Koenig, Kaiti Wallen, Dennis Marin, Brian Heintz, Jessika Johnson, Jennifer Jelsema, Michael Alexander | Written by Harley Wallen | Directed by Jerry Hayes, Harley Wallen

moving-parts-poster

Moving Parts is about two very different couples who are drawn into organized crime, but it is soon clear that everyone and everything is not who or what they seem.

Suspecting her husband may be cheating Angela Prescott (Kaiti Wallen) hires private detective Seth Nichols (Harley Wallen) to follow her husband Kevin Prescott (Kris Reilly). However, during the investigations instead of finding another woman, Seth finds that Kevin has got himself involved with a local crime syndicate.

Adam Johnson (Dennis Marin) is having his own relationship issues with is partner Lisa Shields (Jessika Johnson) and decides to drink away his issues in a local bar, sharing his company with any woman who will give him the time. Detective James (Brian Heintz) is under investigation for an unarmed shooting, but despite his flaws, partner Detective Miranda Brooks (Jennifer Jelsema) is always there to back him up. Working the streets is a hard job and sometimes people make mistakes.

Over several nights their separate lives become unexpectedly intertwined and as events start to escalate it soon becomes clear that not everything is what it initially seems.

An award winning independent crime thriller, Moving Parts succeeds fundamentally by the way it manages to lead and manipulate the audience. What starts off as a tense drama gradually unfolds into a multi-layered story, filled of unexpected twists that leaves you guessing loyalties and the true motives of the characters. It is a well-crafted story with a lot going on to keep the film moving at pace and although it is difficult to foresee how the events will unfold, it skilfully brings them all together at the end.

The film is co-directed by Jerry Hayes and Harley Wallen who both also act in the film. Jerry Hayes delivers a tense performance as Devon Reynolds, who has the arduous tasked of investigating an unarmed shooting by Detective James. Jerry delivers a tense performance as someone who is feeling the pressure and makes his mark in the film a short but important cameo.

With the directorial duties shared, Harley Wallen is given an opportunity to make the most of his character and manages to impress with a more active role as the private detective Seth Nichols. Harley is well suited to playing a detective, but with a history in mixed martial arts it is his fighting ability where he really makes an impression in the film. The film does not have enough fighting to really call it an action film, but the scenes which do occur are really well executed, which personally I would like to have seen more of. One memorable fight scene occurs early on in the film which see’s Harley take on a group of thugs, a revenge attack because he had previously exposed one of them for cheating on his wife. The scene has a surprisingly humorous approach when you compare it to the rest of the film and despite being outnumbered you can kind of guess how the scene is going to play out.

Moving Parts has two strong lead performances in the film with Kris Reilly as Kevin Prescott and Kaiti Wallen as Angela Prescott, who remain central to the story. They both seemed to embellish their characters and it was interesting to see how they evolve throughout the film, our initial perceptions of them gradually altered as new details begin to be uncovered. Kaiti does a particularly good job with an array of emotions, as she at first tries to deal with the thought of her husband’s infidelity and then his involvement with the local crime syndicate.

The film has brought together an experienced cast, although with so much going I do feel that some of the characters were underused. One example would be T.J. Storm who despite only having a few scenes creates one of the most memorable characters in the film. As expected T.J looked at home during the action, but he also has some good on-screen chemistry with Calhoun Koenig who plays his daughter. Like some other areas of the film I would like to have seen the relationship between the two of them explored further;it would have been interesting to see how they could have been develop if it was more of an action film.

Moving Parts is an intelligent and well-executed independent thriller, which has strong performances from the cast who make the most of their time on screen. I did feel that some areas of the film may have been underdeveloped because there is so much going on, but in the end that does not take anything away from the enjoyment of the film. Moving Parts is another independent film which has been overlooked, but thanks to the excellent script there is plenty of ingenuity and unexpected twists to keep you captivated and guessing right up to the end.

Moving Parts is available to watch now on Apple, Amazon, Google, Vudu and Microsoft.

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