Time was, you got the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Matthew Modine, Christopher McDonald in a movie, you could bet on it at least being ok. Now? Well, now you end up with Backtrace.
Backtrace is a slow moving, trite, bombastic piece of work that has all the subtlety of the world’s strongest man baking fairy cakes.
The gun-battles, of which there are a few, are overly loud with bullets spent like they cost nothing, foes stand mere metres apart yet hit very little, even with a sub-machine gun.
The story sees Modine (“An Actor Prepares“, “Stranger Things (TV)”) lose his memory after a gun battle and, with his memory, goes the location to twenty million dollars in cash that he and his, now dead, cronies buried somewhere after an armoured car robbery.
Stallone (“Creed“, “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2“) is the cop who, in the seven years that passes since Modine loses his memory and we catch-up with him in jail, doesn’t age a day, though still looks way-past retirement age.
McDonald (“Once Upon A Time In Venice“, “Wetlands“) is the FBI agent with whom Stallone has an ongoing battle with, something that’s mentioned but seems to be over before it’s begun as far as we’re concerned.
Ryan Guzman (“Step Up All In”, “Jem And The Holograms”), Meadow Williams (“Den Of Thieves“, “Raven”) and Tyler Jon Olsen (“Gotti”, “Jarhead”) are the three responsible for springing Modine out of jail to administer a new drug to get him to remember where he buried the money.
This leads them, us, and anyone else interested in the money, on a memory journey of Modine’s past, told through shaky-cam flashbacks as Modine looks like he’s having his head crushed in a vice.
The story has promise that Backtrace never manages to live up to. Modine is the stand-out in all this but that’s not praise when everything, and everyone, else is so wooden or cliched, or both.
Backtrace seems to catch a few actors in the later years of their careers though some, such as Stallone, still have potentially big movies due out but, if this is anything to go by, it would appear more likely he’s going to be flogging a dead horse.