Fred Kingsley, Jake& Harv (The Scratch)
Created by Jorge Suarez
"What is it worth?"
-- this big question serves as a sort of philosophical leitmotif for this film
In the low-budget indie flick The Scratch (2009), JAKE, an aging slacker doing scut work for the three-man Royal Investigations detective agency in Seattle, is dying for more action. So he's more than eager when his boss, FRED KINGSLEY, invites him to do some actual field work.
But Fred is playing the "kid," as they constantly refer to Jake, and HARV, the third man in the agency, for patsies. The case, which involves rescuing a kidnapped hacker turns out to be far more complex -- and dangerous -- than expected.
This murky mess of a film starts out as a slightly confusing detective thriller but soon devolves into an even more confusing heist caper. Naturally, everyone -- except maybe Jake -- has a secret or two and everyone has an agenda or two, but it all plays out like watered down Tarrantino (a sly callout to Reservoir Dogs just highlights how far this dud falls short of the mark).
There are a few so-so action scenes, but the promised "explosive climax of betrayal and revenge" never makes an appearance. A lot of people getting shot, a slew of under-developed characters and plenty of predictable betrayals just muddy the waters -- ultimately there's little real payoff. Nor does it help that none of the surviving characters ever seem to quite cotton on to what the hell was going on.
I know I didn't. And I watched it twice.
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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