THE ENTITLED (BLU-RAY)
Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
What's it about
A young man does bad things (kidnapping, murder) for good reasons, in this morally ambiguous thriller.
Is it good movie?
Paul Dynan is a conflicted character: fresh out of college, he canít land a decent job, while his momís illness is sucking the family finances dry. After pawning his last valuable, sentimental object to buy momís medicine for the month only to come home to a foreclosure notice, he finally decides to put into action a plan long in the making. This plan involves kidnapping three rich kids and ransoming them for one million dollars each. As one might imagine, things get a skootch out of hand.
The reason for this is that Paul has built an element of chaos into his highly-structured plan: namely, Jenna and Dean. They are two unstable teens who jump at the chance to help Paul: Jenna because sheís obsessed with Paul, and Dean because he wants to kill someone. Itís not a spoiler to say that these kids were included to be patsies, but even as they prove true to their chaotic natures, one canít help getting the impression that Paul might be sicker than them both, in his own quiet way.
The Entitled doesnít start off promisingly: there is no clear reason given why Paul canít find a job, and the three rich college kids he kidnaps are stereotyped to the point of being caricatures. And the dying mom/foreclosure aspect is trite to say the least. That being said, the slow revelations of Paulís plot are interesting to watch, and the three fathers, played by Ray Liotta, Victor Garber, and Stephen McHattie, are all wonderful veteran actors who play all their scenes together in one room, almost like a play within the movie.
There is some nice ambiguity at the end, in regards to who was complicit in the plot besides Paul, and there are two endings so you can choose how events actually turn out for him. In the end I would rather have had a more believable build-up, but the film picks up after the kidnapping and delivers some solid suspense.
Video / Audio
Video: 1080p, Widescreen. Excellent presentation, as one expects from Anchor Bay.
Audio: Dolby TrueHD in either English or Spanish, with optional Spanish and English SDH subtitles.
Alternate Ending: This is more a case of adding one small detail than an entirely different ending, but that one detail gives the end of the film an entirely different meaning. Of the two, I think the alternate ending is the more narratively satisfying.
Behind The Scenes: This is an 11-minute making of piece, with mostly interviews with the principal cast and crew, but also a fair amount of behind the scenes footage. I found it funny that the veteran actors all give the familiar softball answers, while the younger upstarts are more raw and rambunctious.
A bit trite in the beginning, with some writing I can best call juvenile, The Entitled picks up quite a bit after the kidnapping that is central to the plot and becomes a solid, suspenseful thriller with a moral ambiguity that will leave you wondering for whom to root. I strongly suggest you watch the alternate ending, as it is by far the more dramatically pleasing.