Directed by Declan Dale.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Ana de Armas, Big Daddy Kane, Christopher McDonald, and Mira Sorvino.
A police detective investigates the truth behind his partner’s death. The mysterious case reveals disturbing police corruption and a dangerous secret involving an unlikely young woman.
“The writer/director fought to have his name legally removed from the movie.” – IMDB Trivia
The fun little piece of information stated above is true, and really tells you everything you need to know about Exposed, which is a mystery of sorts attempting to explore police corruption, religion, and sexual assault. The problem is that everything is so incomprehensible and incoherent, that nothing ever makes sense. It’s no wonder why the man behind everything fought the law to replace the credits with a pseudonym. You would too if you were the human being that conjured up this shit.
Apparently, there was a bunch of studio interference that shifted the central focus of the plot to the character of Keanu Reeves as a detective dealing with family issues, but if you want my honest opinion, this movie was complete garbage from the beginning and there wasn’t a single thing anyone could have done to save it.
The big twist itself is actually shockingly offensive based on what it suggests regarding the correlation between rape and religion. I haven’t the faintest fucking idea how someone could actually insert what happens into the narrative and come to the conclusion that it was a good idea or something powerful that will resonate with anyone that isn’t an extreme caliber Bible thumper. To be fair, even those people will watch this movie and probably say to themselves “what the fuck”.
Story aside, Exposed has hands-down some of the absolute worst film editing ever put to screen. There is a sequence somewhere early on in the movie where it shifts from a scene of Keanu Reeves talking to his boss, then to one of the numerous and annoying religious sermons, to a character bathing his dog (seriously, what the fuck, it’s one of the most pointless scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie), and essentially just keeps jumping from one irrelevant moment to the next. Characters will also go from being angry with one another to wanting to fuck from one scene to the next, with no explanation. I’m surprised there actually was a script, because what is here is wholly random and scattershot to baffling levels.
And then there are the supernatural overtones, where the female heroine of the story encounters various angels that of course look absolutely ridiculous. They just look like random people getting dressed for a masquerade party. Ana de Armas also fails at eliciting any emotion, but it’s really hard to fault her given how disjointed and abysmal the material is that she has to put to the screen.
This also isn’t the first movie that Ana de Armas and Keanu Reeves has shared the screen together in (they were opposite each other in Eli Roth’s trashy good fun horror flick Knock Knock) and knowing that they have previously had good chemistry, well, it makes it all the more disappointing that they only get one moment together. The entire movie is basically Keanu Reeves absolute certain that she is connected to the murder of a corrupt cop, as he just comes up with excuse after excuse not to pursue her.
Casting Keanu Reeves in a detective thriller such as this is already confusing, considering that he isn’t a very good actor to begin with unless he is given a gun, told to shoot a bunch of bad guys, and say “WHOA”. He tries to play his character with the cool, calm and collected demeanor that a much more talented actor like Tom Hanks would inject into the performance, but since Tom Hanks obviously wanted no part in this (his agent probably just set the script on fire if he even received a copy) the director basically just told Keanu Reeves “be like Tom Hanks”! Keanu Reeves does get to have a Nicolas Cage losing-his-shit style moment though as he begins screaming and punching the steering wheel of his car, so there’s a small victory.
To call Exposed one of the worst movies of the year would be insulting to the other terrible releases that have come out and will come out during the remainder of the year. This isn’t just an awful movie by 2016 standards, but one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in my life. Even Adam Sandler has his work cut out trying to outdo this one in shittiness.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★
Robert Kojder – Chief Film Critic of Flickering Myth. Check here for new reviews weekly, friend me on Facebook, follow my Letterboxd, or email me at MetalGearSolid719@gmail.com