MacDonald (Matthew Modine) robbed a bank with two other men, and the money they stole is now hidden somewhere. MacDonald is involved in a shootout shortly after the robbery, getting shot in the head and losing his memory completely. Seven years goes by, and MacDonald still can’t remember anything other than he knows he is guilty of a crime. The main question remains- Where did MacDonald put the money?
To my understanding, this is a film that skipped Australian cinemas and went straight to “video release”. This is very surprising considering the film’s leading actors are Matthew Modine and Sylvester Stallone. But Backtrace simply looks and feels like a cheap B grade film. The visuals and the filming style, ah! Even the first and dull soundtrack is also a dead giveaway as to the film’s budget.
As for our leading actors, Matthew Modine plays a character who moves slowly and spends most of the time acting confused, lost and in pain. He also has a habit of complaining and questioning other aspects. As for our super action star, Sylvester Stallone plays a detective hot on the case (even after seven years). He is completely emotionless and as an actor seems completely uninterested throughout the film. As a plot, viewers will find very little happens after our main opening setup. To describe the whole movie wouldn’t take much effort.
Part of the reason it feels like a B grade film is the odd style of filming and shots. Many shots come from one direction and then pan to a character as if the shots were creative or trying to build some type of suspense. The director also cuts his frames at odd times which I found distracting, but I can understand the director was trying to be creative with the shots. Sadly it just doesn’t work for me at all.
Overall, this is a B grade crime drama with a main story that struggles in so many ways. Even a super actor star such as Sylvester Stallone can’t save this film. With dull performances and a thin, boring plot, there is truly nothing to see here. The only result movie lovers will find is that their time will be wasted.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden