Peace Arch Entertainment // 2007 // 96 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 27th, 2009
Here comes the bride.
I would like to politely decline the wedding invitation.
Meet Jacqueline Bombay (Arlene Tur) a beautiful woman trapped in an arranged marriage with a diamond cartel kingpin who always wears sunglasses and needs to work on his inside voice. Needless to say, she wants to ditch the ass-clown, so she strikes up a deal with her bartender boy toy to make off with a buttload of diamonds.
Of course it doesn't work out like that. After the daring heist on a boat (and by "daring" I mean "dull") the lovers retreat, only to be tracked down with surprising ease by the bad guys. More shooting and Jacqueline escapes again and her wannabe hubby dispatches some tool named Ace to find her or something. I don't know; I wasn't really paying attention. I was too distracted by pretty much the worst acting I have ever seen.
That's not hyperbole. Final Engagement really does have the some of the most atrocious acting I've ever endured in a film. Only Peter Greene, who hangs around as a priest trading dialogue with an off-screen voice long enough to collect a paycheck, doesn't embarrass himself. Everyone else? Godforsaken.
The violence these clowns perpetrate to the acting craft would be laughable if the movie wasn't so brain-nukingly boring. Crafted as a noir/action effort, Final Engagement utterly flounders on both counts. This Ace guy is supposed to be a battle-hardened, world-weary traveler who's Seen It All and says things like "In life there are players and there are pawns -- it's up to you how you play the game" and "Sometimes you have to stack them up, push them in and roll the dice" and walks slowly though steam-filled dark alleys and maintains a grizzled five-o'clock shadow. Well, he does all this stuff, sure, but he's as charismatic as a can of Spam. Lucky for him, he's surrounded by an astonishing display of line-reading futility. The head bad guy, Jacqueline's father, can't not utter his dialogue like he's in the middle of passing a kidney stone, the fiance chews through his lines in the most overwrought Eurotrash accent you've ever heard (and doesn't have a setting on his vocal volume other than "spittle-flecked over-reacting") and Jacqueline herself is too busy concentrating on preventing a nip slip in one of the many bra and panty get-ups she inexplicably wears throughout the film to hit her mark.
Normally, this would be the part of the review where I recommend it to followers of horrible B-movie schlockfests to watch with their idiot drunken friends, but I just can't bring myself to do that with Final Engagement. You'll be missing out on sharp writing like "We all die, but how many of us can say we truly live?" and "Sometimes when all the pieces are lined up, the only thing left to do is to make your move!" but heed my words: it's not worth it. This flick moves along with the velocity of a glacier and the plot you'll be forced to unravel is a hackneyed attempt at "cool" multilateral storytelling that jumps chronology. Alas, no one though to jump this abomination ahead to the end credits.
If you are intent on taking up this Engagement, Peace Arch has a bare bones DVD in store: an okay 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, a stereo audio mix and no extras.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't laugh at this stupidity, but to recommend a movie like this would mean there's a special place in Hell waiting for me.
The accused is annulled with extreme prejudice.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Peace Arch Entertainment
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated