When you break them down, really look at them, spend a little time getting to understand them, movies are actually not that difficult to wrap your head around.
I’m sure you’re aware of the three-act structure, I’m sure you’ve noticed that, particularly action films, get ratcheted up a notch or 11 in the final 30 minutes. You can’t fail to have noticed that the protagonist must hit rock-bottom, before they stage a, sometimes miraculous, come-back.
You will also know then, that we, as the viewer, need to learn about the people we are watching. We need to understand them, in particular we need to understand our protagonist: who are they? What do they stand for? What will they do? What won’t they do?
All this needs to be established because we need to know that their subsequent actions are believable, that they would really do those things, could do those things.
When this breaks down, when the believability is shattered, well, it makes a movie a very hard thing to watch.
This brings me, sadly, on to “Inheritance”, the latest film from director Vaugh Stein (“Terminal”, “84303 (Short)”) and the first from writer Matthew Kennedy.
“Inheritance” is a movie that starts slowly, never picks up, has all the mystery of a Scooby Doo adventure and an appalling American accent.
Things start badly, and never really recover, as the continuity errors slap you across the face. Lily Collins (“Okja”, “Tolkien”) loses her father, Patrick Warburton (best known as the voice of Joe Swanson in “Family Guy”) to a heart attack.
Lauren (Collins) is a tough DA who has morals that touch the sky, going against daddy at every turn, even down to who she married, and will defend the “little guy” against the “the man”.
When Lauren hears about the inheritance, from long-time family helper Harold, Michael Beach (“Aquaman”, “The 100 (TV)”), her father has left her a million dollars, her brother William, Chace Crawford (“The Boys (TV)”, “Undrafted”), $20 million and even more went to the police and fire brigade. Mother Catherine, Connie Nielsen (“I Am The Night (TV)”, “Justice League”), is left looking after the business interests.
Harold takes Lauren to one side and presents her with a large envelope, another little thing left by her father “to her, and her alone”. Inside, amongst some other stuff that doesn’t seem to matter, is a USB key and, shock-horror, on that is a video from her father.
The cryptic (not cryptic in the least) message leads her to a place she appeared to play at once, before daddy said, “no more”. The reason? It contains the worst hidden door to an underground bunker.
Inside the bunker Lauren finds Morgan, Simon Pegg (“The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance (TV)”, “Terminal”) (he of the bad American accent), who has been chained-up by her father for years. Years and years and years. So long that he would be weak as p*ss…anyway. He’s also been in the bunker, unknown to anyone, for a week since her father died, and it doesn’t appear he has any food.
Anyway, he’s still alive, she wants to know who he is and why he’s there. There’s a bit of cat and mouse between them as he tells her some stories and she tries to find out what’s true.
Obviously, painfully obviously, Morgan isn’t who he says he is, he isn’t telling the truth and obviously, painfully obviously, Lauren is taking an age to find out the real truth.
Notwithstanding the fact that, from the start of the movie, we are led to believe Lauren is a woman of high-morals, always does the right thing, and yet, and yet, she doesn’t even call the police, tell her husband, her brother, her mother, nothing, about this man in the bunker. Had she spoke to the latter, the whole film would have lasted about 20 minutes, if you watch it, you’ll wish it had.
Signature Entertainment presents Inheritance on Digital HD July 6th & DVD 13th July