Movie Review - Disorder (Maryland)

This film has a premise or a set-up for what could be an action flick. The premise and set-up could also make this film into a really tense, psychological thriller. It briefly dabbles in both genres but never leans too hard into either. The opening would suggest that the film is going to be a war picture. The first thing we see are soldiers running through the mud. The movie does involve a character who is Special Forces, one who returns home to France and suffers from PTSD. That PTSD would seem to play a factor in the narrative, except it doesn't. It's a trait or a plot-point that just gets dropped. As such, it's unclear what the movie is trying to say about it.

Matthias Schoenaerts (Bullhead and The Danish Girl) stars as Vincent Loreau, a man who served in the French army. He would prefer to keep serving, but apparently aside from PTSD, he also has an ear injury. He gets his hearing and head checked but he can't go back to wherever he was serving presumably in the Middle East until his test results return. In the meantime, he's given a job as a security guard for a wealthy, Lebanese businessman. He's like Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard. He doesn't quite fit in due to him not liking the people around him but mainly due to his growing suspicion and paranoia.

Directed and co-written by Alice Winocour, that suspicion and paranoia are well-handled for about half of this film. Given that the movie is told exclusively through Vincent's point of view. We only see what Vincent sees. We get no one else's perspective. As such, the film could have been a perfect exploration of how a soldier is affected by PTSD and how that could amplify and worsen the suspicion and paranoia. Winocour also makes a bit of a mystery about the threat from the Lebanese businessman's dangerous associates. So many scenes are about Vincent constantly looking, spying and being nervous, which works for a good chunk.

All of that goes away in the latter half and for some reason the movie just becomes about watching Schoenaerts beat people up and be a kind of action star. This isn't a bad proposition given that Schoenaerts certainly has amazing screen presence and the buff body for it. There's just not enough here to sell that aspect. It's not that there aren't enough action or fighting scenes. Winocour establishes an interesting edge to his character but really does nothing with it, especially in the latter half. By the end when we're supposed to be shocked at how far he'll go or how crazy he is, it doesn't resonate.

Diane Kruger (National Treasure and Inglorious Basterds) co-stars as Jessie, the wife of the Lebanese businessman who becomes the damsel-in-distress with a child who's similarly so. The movie doesn't give her much to do or say. It makes her a bit stupid when she decides to stay in a house after being attacked and knowing her house is vulnerable. A moment at the end with her that's supposed to be quasi-romantic doesn't resonate either.

Not Rated but contains language and brutal violence.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 38 mins.


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