Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
My AV System
- Preamp, Processor or Receiver
- Yamaha TRS-7850 Atmos Receiver
- Other Amp
- Peavy IPR 3000 for subs
- Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
- Sony ubx800 4K UHD Player
- Front Speakers
- Cheap Thrills Mains
- Center Channel Speaker
- Cheap Thrills Center
- Surround Speakers
- Volt 10 Surrounds
- Surround Back Speakers
- Volt 10 Reach Surrounds
- Rear Height Speakers
- Volt 6 Overheads
- 2x Marty subs (full size with SI 18's)
- Video Display Device
- JVC RS-46 Projector
- Draper Cineperm M1300 119 inch Static Screen
It seems like Sylvester Stallone has finally gone the way of Bruce Willis. I mean, Stallone has done his fair share of DTV films during the early 2000’s, but post Rambo and The Expendables, the aging action star had kind of gotten back into the limelight once more and was doing higher budget films more and more often. But it seems like he has finally started to fade once more, giving us movies like Escape Plan 2 and Backtrace. To make matters worse, he has done the Bruce Willis thing of phoning in his performance (at least for Backtrace, I still haven’t watched Escape Plan 2) and only showing up in the movie for a grand total of 10-12 minutes, even though his face is plastered all over the movie.
Backtrace itself is a fairly passable crime thriller, but take Sylvester Stallone out of the picture and you quickly realize this is all about Matthew Modine and the lesser known ones like Ryan Guzman. However, that’s not a bad thing as Matthew Modine does rather decent job of portraying our “hero”, but sadly he’s betrayed by a script that is so hackneyed and inconsistent that I was visibly wincing at times.
Brian A. Miller is hot off of last year’s Reprisal (which wasn’t a bad movie, which I reviewed HERE) and he’s back with yet another moderately entertaining action movie. This time with a little bit of a twist. The film opens up with a trio of bank robbers led by Mac (Matthew Modine) getting double crossed by their compatriots. Gunned down and left for dead with the rest of his crew, Mac wakes up to find out that he’s had retrograde amnesia due to a bullet wound that hit him in the skull. He can only remember what happened from the moment he woke up in the hospital. Despite that fact, Mac is sent to a psychiatric facility where he spends the next 7 years TRYING to remember anything besides what he’s been told by the news and the police about his past.
There are so many head twisters and logical fallacies throughout the film that I really was having a hard time keeping up with them all. To make it worse the characters acted so out of place and foolish that it was hard to take serious. The cops couldn’t figure out a 4th (and technically 5th) man was involved even though there were bullet casings all over that DIDN’T match the guns of the 3 robbers? Or that ending where Sylvester Stallone’s detective character says “I’ll take care of it” while letting a bunch of robbers who have KILLED a man go free? Let alone the hilarity of the new drug that allows Mac to instantly piece things together in the matter of a day. But I digress. With all those little story line goofs out of the way, Backtrace is a fairly competent DTV thriller that actually was rather interesting the first two acts. That third act with the big “reveal” is where things start falling apart, and puts Miller’s previous films like Reprisal on a higher tier than Backtrace.
Rated R for violence and some language
Backtrace is actually a competent enough crime thriller for the most part (if you’re familiar with DTV thrillers), but it really falls into laughable territory in the third act, and it doesn’t help that Stallone is in the film for all of 10-12 minutes TOPS, and just mumbled a few lines before fading into the background once more. Surprisingly Matthew Modine actually does rather well with the role (as he’s technically the main character) and gives MacDonald some life in an otherwise bland and lifeless film. The Blu-ray itself has solid audio and video scores, but really is a dearth of special features with only trailers to keep you company. A low rental is about all I can consider recommending this one as.
Starring: Meadow Williams, Sylvester Stallone, Matthew Modine, Christopher McDonald, Colin Egglesfield, Ryan Guzman, Swen Temmel, Jenna Willis, Baylee Curran, Heather Johansen
Directed by: Brian A. Miller
Written by: Mike Maples
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH
Runtime: 88 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: December 19th, 2018
Recommendation: Low Rental