15th May2020

‘Rev’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Francesco Filice, Vivica A. Fox, Hannah Gordon, Sam Asante, Sebastian Deery, Francisca Dennis, Dennis Nimoh, Sean Rey, Mark Rival | Written by Ant Horasanli, Reza Sholeh | Directed by Ant Horasanli

So the latest Fast & Furious film got pushed by by an entire year thanks to the coronavirus and you’re left with a huge gap in your car-racing come crime movie watching schedule. What’s a film fan going to do? Well you could check out a straight to DVD wannabe instead. And that’s where Rev comes in…

Rev tells the story of Mikey, a bored store clerk in Toronto, who spends his time outside of his job not only racing cars but stealing them too! But after he gets caught boosting a rare ride from a cop’s house, the police force him to go undercover or go to jail. Mikey agrees to join a grand theft ring led by violent, impulsive Charlie, who’d beat Mikey to death if he knew he was an informant. Even worse, Mikey finds himself attracted to Charlie’s girlfriend, Ava, and their passionate encounter sets up a bloody, power collision between rage and desperation.

Let’s get this straight, we’ve go a car theft film in the style of Gone in 60 Seconds (hell, the film references that movie within the first ten minutes) meets Romeo and Juliet. So your standard car crime flick then… And honestly, Rev is basically your standard car crime movie; there is nothing here we haven’t seen before but then, much like the big budget F&F franchise, this is very much a case of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Instead what films of this ilk ride on is the characters, the cast and the charisma – the charisma of both the performances AND the story.

Unfortunately for audience, Rev the film spends way too much of its time on things other than the stealing cars part of the story. Instead it focuses on the build – building the characters of Charlie and Mikey, building the budding relationship between Mikey and Ava (which is a REALLY slow build) and building the growing tensions between Charlie, has partner Sammy and the other car thieves in the Greater Toronto Area (yes this is GTA in the GTA!)and that part of the movie isn’t – sadly – actually that interesting.

In fact focusing on everything but the cars, for the most part, means that when Rev DOES actually focus on the fast-paced high-stakes car racing and car thefts that the audience will be way past bored. It’s actually surprising how tedious a film about car theft can be – especially when you compare it to the granddaddy of such flicks, the Fast & Furious franchise (even those early films), sadly Rev shows just how mundane a high-octane film can be and ultimately you can’t help but be considerably disappointed.

Though I’ll be damned if the end of Rev doesn’t go a long way to making up for what has come before, with the kind of good guy/bad guy blurring of the lines that actually leaves you with a smile on your face. Still doesn’t totally make up for making a car crime/heist movie dull though.

Rev is out now on DVD and Digital, in the US, from Lionsgate.

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