#REVIEW: “THE FORGER”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Ray Cutter (John Travolta), an Art Forger, is released months early from prison through a deal with local Crime Boss Keegan (Anson Mount). Ray wants to spend time with his young cancer-stricken Son Will (Tye Sheridan), but Keegan wants him for another job – forging and stealing a priceless Monet painting. And if he refuses, he’s being sent back to jail.
Premiering at TIFF this past year, The Forger appeared at first glance to be a typical tale of a retired Thief going in for one last score. But the Film seems more concerned with the strained relationship between Travolta, Sheridan and Ray’s Father Joseph (Christopher Plummer) than it is with the impending Heist – to the point that the eventual Heist in the Last Act feels cobbled together like an after-thought. But even then, the Film seems content with being rather ordinary. None of the Characters are too deep even with it being a largely Character-driven piece, their motivations are very one-dimensional and the Plot’s thin trajectory never seems to deviate from a set path.
The Cast is uniformly-good (save for some bizarre “Boston” accents), with Sheridan being the clear standout. The young Actor continues to impress, stealing scenes and entire Films from current and former Hollywood Heavyweights. This Film is no different. He is the only real Cast Member who attempts to break free of the Script’s confines, portraying a genuinely frustrated Teenager with finesse and grace. Travolta and Plummer do well in their Roles, but never really stretch themselves to their limits. Much like the Film, they seem content with just being ordinary. Abigail Spencer, a Cop following Ray, could have used a lot more material to work with, as does Jennifer Ehle, whose needless subplot is introduced and resolved way too quickly.
The Forger is an enjoyable Film, but has very little merit to praise. Unfortunately the quick 92-minute runtime allows it to finish practically just as quick as it starts. But the Cast is good, and the Film’s Plot is not at all what you might have expected. I was expecting something more in vein to the stylish Canadian romp The Art of the Steal, but was pleasantly surprised that the Film was more of a close-knit family Drama.
VVS Films release THE FORGER on-demand and in theatres in Toronto and Montreal Friday, April 24, 2015.