Matthew ModineRyan Guzman...
Action & AdventureThriller
Brian A Miller
In 1 Cinema
Should actors stop making movies at a certain age? Probably not. Should they keep doing the same roles over and over again just because they worked before? Also probably not. Sylvester Stallone has not stopped acting and has finally let go of the Rocky-like rolls, but did not go too far playing a good guy cop.
Backtrace follows bank robber MacDonald (Mathew Modine), who loses his memory in a bank robbery gone wrong. With the death of his team and the heist money missing, MacDonald is sent to a psychiatric ward for more than seven years. MacDonald finally brakes out of the ward, but there are many who have their eyes on the stolen money. He is given a drug that painfully forces him to recover his long-lost memories. With several parties who are looking for the stolen money, a local cop (Sylvester Stallone) aiming to finally solve the case, and a ruthless federal agent (Christopher McDonald) all after him, MacDonald can only try to get to the money first.
The plot is nothing too different, especially when it comes to the supposed “twists” which are not only mind-numbingly predictable but also mimicking of almost every crime film ever.
The pace of the plot is adequate, with the main focus on the race between MacDonald retrieving his memories and both sides of the authorities looking for him. The film editor used cross-cutting in multiple scenes in an attempt to increase suspense, but you need mystery and intrigue and not just the cinematic techniques to cultivate actual suspense.
Backtrace also has a major issue with plausibility as the action scenes have guns shooting endless rounds just like in a cartoon and people dying even though they are wearing bulletproof vests. The filmmakers also use a cheap shaking effect on the scenes where MacDonald is recovering his memories that makes the whole thing seem rather silly.
The dialogue was also a significant disadvantage as it ranged from too expository to too cliché, which was an even bigger problem when the filmmakers decided to rely on the dialogue to deliver key information and plot points that the audience does not get to see on screen.
For the acting, Mathew Modine gave a decent performance, and it is highly likely that it would have been much better if it wasn’t for the issues in this feature. Christopher McDonald was a close second with a convincing performance of a tough federal cop, and Sylvester Stallone came last with a very weak performance with barely any acting; just a ghost of what he used to be.
If you just want to see guns firing all over the place and Mathew Modine trying to recover his character’s memories with the silliest effect, then go ahead.