Exposed

 

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One of the oddest films of the year features Keanu Reeves as a morose New York cop tracking down the killer of his partner - whilst angels do not fear to tread...

 

 

Exposed is a po-faced police procedural that would’ve been bum-numbingly ordinary were it not for the angels. As Keanu Reeves wafts around New York looking like the Liverpudlian actor Tom Bell (who would have thought?), his austere air is offset by the beauty of the Cuban actress Ana de Armas. But she, like the film, is as nutty as a Snickers bar.

 

Exposed was originally conceived as a surreal drama called Daughter of God but was chopped up into a generic cop thriller by Lionsgate as a better commercial bet. It didn’t work. The revelation of 24 credited producers during the closing credits points to the sort of problems the film faced during its creation. As does the directorial pseudonym ‘Declan Dale’ adopted by the scenarist Gee Malik Linton. It may end up as a curiosity piece, but even Keanu’s most forgiving fans might pretend it never actually happened.

 

Keanu plays Scott Galban, a troubled cop who has not only recently lost his wife but is investigating the murder of his partner, whom he discovers was as twisted as a double helix. Meanwhile, the nursery teacher Isabel de La Cruz (de Armas, who starred opposite Keanu in Knock Knock) is starting to witness angels on the street, although nobody will believe her. Galban believes she might be an important witness to the murder of his partner, but is afraid to bring her in for questioning as everybody he talks to ends up dead. He’s also warned off the case by his superior (Christopher McDonald), for fear of exposing police corruption.

 

Exposed

Keanu investigates all those guilty co-producers

 

The film is so strange and atmospherically compelling that it does hold the attention up to a point. It even displays a certain languorous elegance that promises something remarkable if only we stay the distance. Unfortunately, the ending is a cop-out (pardon the pun), leaving one with the feeling of having been cheated by an inarticulate child.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Cast: Ana de Armas, Keanu Reeves, Christopher McDonald, Big Daddy Kane, Mira Sorvino, Venus Ariel, Melissa Linton, Michael Rispoli.

 

Dir Declan Dale (actually Gee Malik Linton), Pro ‘Declan Dale’, Robin Gurland and Keanu Reeves (among others), Screenplay Gee Malik Linton, Ph Trevor Forrest, Pro Des Tania Bijlani, Ed Melody London, Music Carlos José Alvarez, Costumes Amela Baksic.

 

Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films/Grindstone Entertainment Group/PalmStar Entertainment/Remark Films/Lionsgate Films-Signature Entertainment.

102 mins. USA. 2016. Rel: 26 February 2016. Cert. 15.