Friday, February 6, 2015

Review of RECLAIM: Scam Scenario

February 5, 2015

Steven and Shannon are a young childless American couple who had adopted a little Haitian girl over the Internet. When they go there to pick her up, cute little Nina was their dream come true. Two days later, their dream turns into a nightmare when Nina suddenly disappears from their room. The police suspect that they had been victimized by a gang of international extortionists who run a fake adoption scam.

Ryan Phillippe and Rachelle Lefevre play the unsuspecting Steven and Shannon very well. They were convincing in their altruism for adopting an orphaned girl from a third world country which just had a major earthquake disaster. They were also convincing in their stupidity for all the crazy decisions that this couple made in the film.

The bad guys were so apparent from the get-go. John Cusack played Benjamin, an intrusive American fellow whom Steven and Shannon met at their resort. There was no doubt from their first encounter that this Benjamin and his cohorts Paola (Veronica Faye Foo) and Salo (Jandres Burgos) would turn from being simply annoying neighbors at the beginning into real ruthless dangerous criminals.

Two character actors with uniquely distinct facial features will play tricks on you on the nature of their characters. Jacki Weaver plays Ms. Reigert, the refined owner of the adoption agency Steven dealt with. Luis Guzman plays yet another Latino policeman here, like he has done in many films we have seen him in. Are they also in on the take?

The topic of the film about fake adoption scams and children on the black market was actually very promising. The beginning of the film was very good, setting up the interesting scenario. However, the moment John Cusack and company entered the scene with their one-dimensional bad boy swagger, you just knew this was going to degenerate into another one of those generic shoot-em-up B-action films. And it really did. 3/10.

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