Anchor Bay // 2011 // 91 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Roy Hrab (Retired) // September 26th, 2011
The perfect plan. The perfect victims. The con is on.
The rich get richer. The poor get poorer. Our institutions fail the people that need help the most. The world is unjust. So, if that's the case, it only makes sense that the less fortunate take matters into their own hands. Right?
Paul Dynan (Kevin Zeger, The Stone Angel) is trapped in a dead end job with no way out. His mother is ill, requiring expensive medication, and the family is tapped out. Something has to give. And it does. Paul decides the solution to their problems lies with kidnapping the children of three wealthy men -- Ray Liotta (Goodfellas), Victor Garber (Alias), Stephen McHattie (The Fountain) -- and holding them for $3 million ransom.
Yeah, that makes sense. Oh, and things don't go as planned.
Let me save us all some time. Remember Ransom with Mel Gibson and Gary Sinise? Well, The Entitled covers similar territory. The difference is Ransom had a budget and a semi-plausible story. The Entitled has neither.
Instead, the creators of this Canadian film shot in British Columbia, try their hardest to tilt the scales in favor of the abductors. The children -- Laura Vandervoort (Smallville), Dustin Milligan (Extract), John Bregar (Flashpoint) -- are spoiled brats who party, drink, and do drugs. Their fathers are men of means, although it doesn't appear they are the most scrupulous of businessmen. Paul just wants the money for his parents and has little intention of hurting anyone.
Of course, twists, turns, and plot holes are tossed around in an attempt to maintain viewer interest. Paul's crew can't keep it together. The fathers bicker and lie to each other. No one calls the police. Fingerprints don't matter and neither do the angles of gunshot wounds. And the climax tries to be clever by wrapping everything up in a tidy package. Yeah...it makes no sense.
In the end, The Entitled is much ado about nothing, trying hard to be some kind of message movie. But what's the message? Kidnapping is okay, if you do it for the right reasons? The wealthy are morally corrupt? Nothing about this movie is defensible, plausible, or compelling enough to capture one's attention for 90 minutes. There's a reason this went straight to DVD.
The Entitled, whose production values reflect the film's low budget, is not worthy of a Blu-ray release. The 2.40:1/1080p high def transfer's colors are soft and details are lacking. The audio fares better, with a TrueHD 5.1 that's crystal clear. Dialogue, music, and limited sound effects are delivered without problem. And a slim set of bonus features includes a forgettable alternate ending and a meaningless behind-the-scenes featurette.
There are plenty of kidnapping/ransom thrillers available to you. Take a pass on The Entitled.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
* 2.40:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Alternate Ending
* Official Site