The Forger Blu-ray Review
John Travolta has had so many ups and downs in his career that you could easily describe it as a rollercoaster. He burst onto the scene on television with “Welcome Back, Kotter”. Travolta followed up that initial success with roles in hits such as “Grease”, “Saturday Night Fever” and “Urban Cowboy”. He then went through a dry spell of commercial duds. That all changed with “Look Who’s Talking”. That hit may have been more about the novelty of a baby talking though. He got more critical acclaim with his role as a hit man in “Pulp Fiction”. That led to a string of hits. So you see the pattern we have going here. Right now Travolta is in one of his dry spells. He’s known now more for his erratic appearances at the Oscars and his religious beliefs. Unfortunately THE FORGER is not the film to bring him out of his doldrums. This is a feature that belongs more on the small screen.
Travolta slums it up here as a forger and a thief. His name is Raymond Cutter and he’s in prison at the start of the proceedings. Travolta’s hair choice here is quite distracting. I kept wondering if it was a wig or something else. He also has this hound dog look that he uses throughout to show that the character is worn down. Raymond makes a deal with a nasty piece of work named Keegan (Anson Mount) to get out. Keegan though forces him to go back to his old ways to pay him back.
Raymond’s motives are simple. He wants to spend what remaining time he has with his son Will (Tye Sheridan). Will has terminal cancer and doesn’t have too long to live. While Raymond was away, Will was being taken care of by his grandfather Joseph (Christopher Plummer in a thankless role). Joseph is also a petty thief. Will hasn’t seen his mother since he was a baby, but she’s a drug user living in a trailer. This is definitely not a Norman Rockwell family. The grittiness is appreciated, but not really explored all that much.
Raymond’s job is to make a Monet forgery and then steal the genuine article and replace it. He is then supposed to give the painting to Keegan who in turn gives it to a buyer who has something over Keegan. We are filled in conveniently that Keegan got Raymond thrown into prison by ratting him out. This information is supplied by the police as they are looking to move on Keegan.
The lack of a budget is quite apparent here. There are a few fight scenes that are so embarrassing that I started laughing through them. They are not choreographed well and one has the director pulling the camera so far back that we can barely see what is going on.
The story also lacks tension. There is no real excitement here. I wanted the heist to be more thrilling and more detailed. It’s amateur hour here. I wasn’t expecting “The Thomas Crown Affair”, but at least show these guys are capable. The cops do incredibly stupid stuff that is not believable. You don’t really care about the fate of Will because we really don’t know him. The whole affair is a mess that is not worth anyone’s time.
THE FORGER is not the start of another John Travolta comeback. It is just a lackluster movie that amounts to nothing.
Video: The presentation was delightfully mediocre. Nothing really stood out.
Sound: The sound wasn’t great. It was a bit muffled and hard to hear at times.
Identifying The Forger: Creating Character and Conflict (7:22): The actors and filmmakers discuss the story and what they liked about it. The filmmakers touch upon a few of the actors and what they brought to the table.