TAINTED review by Ronnie Malik – a man tries to reform, but it haunted by “one last job”

TAINTED review by Ronnie Malik – a man tries to reform, but it haunted by “one last job”

Director: Brent Cote

Cast: John Rhys-Davies, Shawn Roberts, Alan Van Sprang, John Ralston, Sara Waisglass, Aaron Poole, A.C. Peterson, Lina Roessler, Simon Northwood, Markjan Winnick, Jake Michaels, Joseph Claude Dubois, Neven Pajkic, Josh Bainbridge, Julian Lewis, Jack Sansone

Rating: C-

Shoot-em-up-bang-em-up is a popular theme for dramatic fast paced crime drama films. The typical formula of bad guys out to get the good guy who must protect the innocent that gets in the bad guys’ path often works when fight scenes, chase scenes, and sometimes love scenes – all added together. TAINTED is yet another film in a long list of formula films coming to the big screen (or in this case small screen, thanks to Covid-19). Will this movie add up to a fun watch or just be zeroed out as an equation not worth understanding?

Lance (Alan Van Sprang), a reformed Aryan brotherhood member, is released from prison 15 long years after being framed by the people that employed him. The ex-con is focused on creating a new, peaceful, and quiet life away from crime. Hiding out in a remote apartment building, Lance meets his neighbor Anna (Sara Waisglass), an aspiring young singer. Enamored by Anna’s sweet nature, Lance takes on a protective fatherly like affection for the young girl. Keeping a low profile, he believes he is finally rid of his old life.

Lance’s former mob-boss Gregor (John Ralston) tracks him down and convinces Lance that to be free from the mob once and for all he must kill a group of Neo-Nazis that are trying to take over the Russian drug trade. In exchange, Lance will get money, a passport, and a new life. Feeling he has no choice, Lance agrees to do this one last job. Lance believes that the hit goes smoothly but is unaware that a ten year old boy witnesses the assassination of his targets. Now Gregor’s boss instructs him to remove all loose ends from the crime so that there is no trail back to the Russian mob. Gregor, tasked with killing Lance, is also aware of Anna’s presence and decides she must be killed also. To flush Lance out, Gregor instructs his goons to kidnap and kill Anna so that Lance will show himself thus making him an easy target.

TAINTED, with its stale dialogue and extremely slow pace, is a film that just seems to drag even though it is only about 90 minutes long. Bouncing around from scene to scene, this latest gangster production does not move seamlessly as the story moves towards its climax. The relationship between Lance and Anna is barely explored, so it is not believable that a rough and gritty former convict can develop feelings of affection overnight for his endearing innocent neighbor, and the fight scenes do nothing to create excitement. Adding to the problem with the production is that the storyline is very predictable so there is no buildup and certainly no surprises in this rather dull tale of organized crime. Although all the components typically found in standard Hollywood mob movies are there, nothing in TAINTED sums up to the final result of a satisfying crime drama.

TAINTED is available on VOD June 16, 2020

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