We picked up Exposed on DVD from a charity shop, as we at the BMAF are big fans of Keanu Reeves.
We first came across him in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure where he showed great comedy skills but he will probably be best known for his big action roles from the likes of Speed; The Matrix; Point Break and most recently John Wick (oddly enough we picked this DVD up when seeing its sequel)
We didn’t know much about this film, but being for a good cause & price, we took a gamble on it.
Now the film is very odd in that it feels like two films at once as we follow two story lines. The first is that of Isabel (Ana De Armas) who we see catching a train home after a late night, whilst waiting for the train she sees a ghost-like figure (Stephen Thompson) who walks into thin air, over the track (now at this point we got confused, as we were under the impression this was a thriller and not a supernatural movie)
We then go into the second story, where we meet Scott (Reeves) outside the station, looking into the murder of his detective partner, Joey Cullen (Danny Hoch)
Scott, who is deeply troubled having also lost his wife recently, is on edge, he suspects a drug gang to be involved and has ‘Black’ Jones (Big Daddy Kane) as his prime suspect.
As he delves deeper into the case, he believes Isabel, who is in photos taken by Cullen could be a witness to the murder, but is being warned to leave the case alone by both Cullen’s wife, Janine (Mira Sorvino) and his lieutenant (Christopher McDonald) as it will reveal corruption with inside the police force, and plays like a thriller we’ve seen many of before.
Far more interesting is the Isabel story, she is a strong religious girl who follows her faith seriously. As a primary school teacher, she wants to help a girl she believes is in danger from her father. She also is alone with her partner being serviced away in the army, for over a year.
This fact adds to a shock when she announces to her family that she is pregnant and is completely disowned by her family for it, even though she has not cheated on her partner.
She continues to see more visions, but could these visions be hiding something from her past that could help Scott solve the murder?
The film is certainly different but it is clearly damaged by heavy editing its writer/director Gee Malik Linton had wanted to make the film a dark fairytale-like Pans Labyrinth, under the title Daughter of God, but the studio had brought it thinking it was a Keanu Reeves cop thriller, so adapted it to that effect.
The end result is a film that plays out like a mundane thriller, yet the dark fairytale parts remain. This is highlighted almost by the fact that all the Isabel scenes are nearly in Spanish with Scott speaking English. This outraged Gee so much, that whilst he keeps the writing credit, the director is named under a pseudonym of Declan Dale.
Some side plots are also in the film following Isabel’s brother, Rocky (Gabe Vargas) who she believes is now a reformed character, having been released from prison, yet this may not be the case.
Rocky also has a dog, who is killed when Isabel learns someone close to her has died so dog lovers be warned (although it happens off screen, we just see dog run into road and van break heavily)
Rocky will have to deal with Jones, who he believes may be Cullen’s killer and wants to find out in order to clear his name as the prime suspect.
The film certainly is different and is all the better for it, yet you can not help the thriller part of the story does not work, and the director’s original dark fairy tale vision around child abuse, violence against women and police corruption could have made a better film.
Keanu does well, as the troubled police officer but Ana is outstanding in the role of the deeply religious, quiet and troubled Isabel. The film is worth a look but we will be returning this one to the charity shop, rather than add to our collection for repeated viewings.
You can find the film at Amazon here:
You can view the trailer here:
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