Reviewed by: JimmyO
Stefan C. Schaefer
What's it about
A troubled hacker finds a way to get revenge on those who wronged him. His revenge begins with a website where men of power are forced to confess the truth behind their actions.
Is it good movie?
Itís an interesting thought to have the power to prove to the world that someone with power is corrupt and means harm. It is also an intriguing idea to find a way to do that and make it public for all the world to see. That is the idea behind Confess, the story of Terell Lessor, a disillusioned African-American (Eugene Byrd) who hacks his way to power by creating a website which reveals the truth about society, albeit in a manipulated sort of way. He kidnaps someone, and puts them on video revealing their true nature. As I said, it is an intriguing idea and it is given a moderately good treatment here. All sorts of consequences are explored when a young journalist named Olivia (Ali Larter) gets involved. The corruption of power, a similar voice becoming violent and dangerous, and a motherís disappointment in her sonís ways. It all adds up to a movie that makes a statement (albeit a preachy one) but seems to pull back when it gets serious.
Throughout the movie, I expected things to get much worse. The idea of kidnapping someone and forcing them to talk about lies they have told, including a disturbing sequence with a naked and bound William Sadler. But it never seemed to get all that serious. The score, the direction and the situation only hinted at the extreme danger that comes with this territory. Eugene Byrd gives a good performance as the troubled man who soon finds infamy as he becomes a cult icon. But I was never really driven to understand his reasoning. I get that he had been screwed over by his friends and business partners, I also get that his mom Agnes (Melissa Leo seemed to be fighting an uphill battle just to keep afloat. Their stories were told well, but almost too nonchalantly. I also didnít get the idea of exploiting a kid with some ADD issues. Yeah, he was kind of obnoxious but it still seemed cruel and unnecessary. It kind of made me want this dude to pick on someone his own size.
Yes, this is not a perfect film, but it seems that writer/director Stefan C. Schaefer had his heart in the right place. It is a bit obvious that he carries certain political beliefs and I for one donít have a problem with that. Most people have certain agendas, and it is no surprise that when something affects you personally, whether it be politics or religion, it will probably show up in your work. But considering the ideology of power and itís affect on those who have it, Confess seemed to play it a little too safe. Even the musical score, which was actually quite good, seemed to lessen the impact of what was happening. Mr. Schaefer has a good eye for drama, and he gives us a unique, if not fascinating, political thriller.
Video / Audio
A worthwhile watch that ultimately seems to be less powerful than it should. Both Eugene Byrd and Ali Larter give nice performances, but I didnít find their relationship all that believable. At times if felt that is was simply a device to keep the story moving. This is a political thriller that works only moderately well due to a slow and uneventful buildup. The corruption of power and the idea of ďforcingĒ truth seems to be a good idea that made for simply a satisfactory watch.