Misconduct Review

Misconduct (2016) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin


Director: Shintaro Shimosawa
Writers: Simon Boyes, Adam Mason
Stars: Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino, Malin Akerman, Julie Stiles, Alice Eve, Byung-hun Lee

Misconduct is a movie that is about Ben (Josh Duhamel) who is an ambitious young lawyer who is contacted by his unstable ex-girlfriend Emily (Malin Akerman) who has classified incriminating data files about her billionaire boss Arthur Denning (Anthony Hopkins)

Ben takes on the big case against the powerful and ruthless executive of a large pharmaceutical company Denning and soon finds himself involved in a case of blackmail and corruption and his life and career begins to spiral into the absurd and desperation.

When I read a bit about this movie which I normally do before viewing to give me an idea of the storyline and whose who in the film at first glance I see the cast of Duhamel, Hopkins, Pacino and Stiles and my initial reaction was and expected an intense thriller with a deep storyline.

In fact Hopkins and Pacino are bit part characters although important key roles don’t have enough screen time as far as I am concerned. The story itself is a little clunky and disjointed and the pace of the movie is a little slow. My initial feeling was that the storyline is lacking any suspense and depth, meaning that filmmakers have spread the story so thin to reach it’s duration and tuning time.

None of the actors disappoint in terms of how interesting the characters they portray but surprisingly the chemistry between the two veteran actors Anthony Hopkins and Al Pacino appear at times shaky and awkward.

Anthony Hopkins at this time appears to be portraying rich billionaires who are held to ransom again and again (check my review of Kidnapping Freddy Heineken) and although never disappoints looks like he is just topping up his bank balance in accepting these limited screen time roles. I find it frustrating that an actor of his calibre and c.v. “has” to do these roles that I cannot believe for a minute they find interesting as the role isn’t part of the story enough.

Having just watched Al Pacino in Danny Collins (2015) a month or so back i was very disappointed in this as like Hopkins you know what to expect and again its not a big role in the sense of screen time and I understand that both Arthur Denning and Charles Abrams are key characters to the plot but I felt both these actors where there to sell the movie.

Duhamel is decent enough in the lead role but at times his performance is inconsistent in the sense that his character lacks any urgency when the scene requires it.

Julie Stiles as Jane Clemente is strangely cast as the tough female operator but unfortunately appears too cocky at times and for some reason her performance is forced and unconvincing which was disappointing.

Malin Akerman (Emily) and Alice Eve (Charlotte) are sparingly used and it appears they are just there to set up the scene and for the stories execution and that is it. With giving these two female actresses these roles they appear weak an under utilised and without causing offence to either actress this makes the movie appear like an episode of a crime Drama or a TV Movie. Again this is not Akerman and Eve’s fault.

Byung-hun Lee plays the character of the Accountant in a supporting role which is quite intriguing when he makes an appearance, but sadly his character feels under-utilised (a trend throughout the movie) and only serves as a glorified henchman.

Director Shintaro Shimosawa’s movie may be considered choppy and dull and the case presented in the plot are familiar themes of TV Movies of the same nature that wouldn’t look out of place in the 1980’s. Although the cinematography is well done in its visuals and to be fair sets up some very dark scenes that tie in with the storyline.

“Misconduct” lacked a sympathetic main and central character which for whatever reason makes the movie appear to have a cast of supporting actors supporting each other with no main lead and this is no fault of Josh Duhamel who tries his best and carrying the intricate and far fetched plot along. Although this isn’t the worst movie I have viewed. It does lack in the majority of its key elements. Give it a watch, don’t give it a watch. I’m passed caring.

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