A distraught faithful woman, a hard-boiled cop, a grieving widow, a skeptical lieutenant, questionable gangsters, and ominous spirits are some of the characters that are trapped in Exposed. The film has everything except the director’s original vision.
Exposed was originally Daughter of God, a film far more interested in the spiritual aspects that explain Ana de Armas’ character Isabel. Hollywood trainer Gee Malik Linton was set to make his directorial debut alongside a stacked cast loaded with experience including the likes of Keanu Reeves (the cop), Mira Sorvino (the widow), Christopher McDonald (the lieutenant), and musician Big Daddy Kane (the gangsters’ kingpin). Along the way, Daughter of God was lost in translation and conceived in a different direction during post-production. The end product, a straightforward cop drama, caused the rookie filmmaker to remove his name as a director – opting for the pseudonym Declan Dale. However, his name remains on the screenplay.
If the cast interviews provided on Exposed’s Blu-ray reflect what Daughter of God could’ve been, it’s clear to see everyone’s enthusiasm for Gee Malik Linton’s debut. It’s terribly ironic for a production that has obviously been considered hopeless by some authoritative producers feature a character who is enwrapped in faith.
As opposed to last year’s blunder Accidental Love, another movie that suffered a different yet equally staggering making-of, Exposed is at least watchable and harmless. However, no matter how hard editor Melody London tried to mash and cobble together a new narrative centred around Reeves’ underdeveloped stoic cop, the change in direction never takes. There are cuts that are unclear, many awkward transitions, and an ending that’s robbed of development. Tolerable performances from Sorvino, McDonald, and Kane get lost in the shuffle and lose any impact the actors may have been working towards. Ana de Armas is perhaps the one performer who is cheated the most; her performance of troubling disconnect is reduced to pouty eye candy.
A petition is currently collecting signatures to convince Lionsgate Premiere that Gee Malik Linton’s Daughter of God is deserving of a proper release. Considering most people are more interested in talking and writing about Linton’s original film than the crummy bandaging that is Exposed (including this critic), hopefully Lionsgate Premiere takes the hint.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie