DVD Review - Triple Crossed

There are three things happening here. You have a war movie, a romance and a thriller, and I'm not sure if young director Sean Paul Lockhart in his feature debut pulls all three together in a way that feels smooth. Going from one thing to the other is awkward or awkwardly done. The overall tone is awkward and never truly gels or feels cohesive enough.

The opening takes place in Afghanistan 2012 and during a battle involving American soldiers. The battle literally feels overblown. The special effects look fake and like overkill. The explosions seem as if they were drawn onto the film using a pencil. They were nowhere near as believable as in The Hurt Locker.

Jack Brockett stars as Chris Jensen, an army veteran who now lives in Los Angeles. We first see him exercising in the park and despite looking very attractive it's revealed that he's homeless. He sleeps in his car and eats out of garbage cans. During a job interview, Jack's personal problems come out that indicate why he's homeless. For example, he secretly drinks liquor and abuses drugs. He also suffers from PTSD.

One wonders why we see Jack exercising, but clearly it's just an opportunity to see Brockett shirtless and sweaty, making him perhaps the most buff vagrant in history. Brockett conveys the loneliness and desperation, but he is perhaps otherwise too clean-cut to be as convincing a homeless person as compared to the recent Blue Ruin.

Laura Reilly co-stars as Jackie Townsend, a woman who hires Jack as a hit-man. She wants her brother's boyfriend dead because she wants the huge inheritance that he's going to get from her now deceased brother. Lockhart's direction might demand no more of Reilly's performance than to be almost outlandish or over-the-top.

Where the screenplay by Linda Andersson fails is how Jackie gets Jack to be her hit-man. Jack goes along with the murder plot and his reasoning should have been bolstered with something more. Yes, he needs the money and his homelessness and desperation were established, but, for a former soldier to kill an innocent civilian, there should have been a more cogent motivation.

Sean Paul Lockhart himself also co-stars as Andrew Warner, the brother's boyfriend who Jackie wants dead. Andrew is a smart and good-natured, young gay man who actually enjoys nature. He goes on hikes. He hangs out at sports bars and probably likes playing or watching sports. He's quite the romantic too.

Jack meets Andrew and it's clear they're going to fall in love. The question is if Jack's feelings are genuine or if he's faking it to get close to Andrew to better kill him. Arguably, a hit-man who was truly serious about murdering Andrew wouldn't bother with dating Andrew because Andrew might tell people about Jack before the actual hit, which could lead the police back to him.

There are twists and turns that partially explain this criticism away, but it makes the mystery more obvious when this supposed hit-man doesn't act like a hit-man at all.

The other problem is the movie fails to properly establish the dead brother, Tyler Townsend, played by Addison Graham. The flashback scene that introduces Tyler comes out of nowhere and has absolutely no context. The way it plays out is of course straight out of a gay porn flick.

It's no surprise being that both Lockhart and Graham have done adult films before. Having the full-frontal male nudity is fine, but the scene is pointless. It might exist to suggest that Tyler is not a faithful or a good guy in general, but it feels so disconnected from the narrative as to have no impact.

One Star out of Five.
Not Rated but contains graphic sexuality, nudity and language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 39 mins.


Popular Posts