Broken Chains [2013] (Movie Review)

Plot Summary

Benny Trevors has just gotten out of prison and has decided to hitchhike back home to his mother’s house, where he can decide what he wants to do with his life.  He is almost immediately contacted by ‘old buddies’ of his, who ask him to help them with a new crime plan.  Benny is torn between the good and the bad and has a series of conflicts with his daughters that cause him to want to leave town.  However, he stopped from doing this when he steps in to protect a woman from her violent husband.  Little does he know that he is about to be sent on a journey to face the past he doesn’t want to ever see again.

 

Production Quality (0 points)

As a very underfunded and amateurish production, Broken Chains really doesn’t have anything good going for it.  Although it’s likely that the production team meant well, they really couldn’t get anything to work here.  Video quality is blurry, camera work is shaky, and audio quality is not what it should be.  The soundtrack is too loud and out of place and there are some unusual camera angles.  Sets, locations, and props are severely limited.  Finally, there are too many odd transitions that make for a disorienting editing experience.  In the end, it’s sad to see this finished product because it’s likely that they meant well.

Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)

Broken Chains is a rare instance in which the plot is significantly better than the production and the acting.  Though it takes a while to get into, this is actually an interesting plot idea that contains a lot of intriguing psychological elements.  However, there are a lot of overly dramatic moments and not enough substantial content.  Random things tend to just happen without much explanation.  The characters are in need of deeper development and the conclusion, though somewhat interesting, is a bit contrived and convenient.  Overall, since this is based on true events, this plot definitely has a lot of potential, but this movie as a whole needs a total rewrite.

Acting Quality (0 points)

This cast is unfortunately very amateurish and not well-versed in acting skills.  They are forceful and practiced, as well as very measured and stilted.  There are some sequences of painful singing.  Also, emotions are very flat and empty.  In the end, this film is extremely B-grade or worse.

Conclusion

Only because of the good ideas presented here does this movie deserve a remake.  The production and acting are on the basement level of film.  It would have been better to wait and use this idea in a production that was better funded and more well-cast.  Perhaps one day it will get the remake that it deserves, but for the most part, this film will likely go very much unnoticed.

 

Final Rating: 1 out of 10 points

 

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