Forsaken mistakes a gimmick for an edge and a strength. The accused: casting Donald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland as father and son.
An actor’s mission is to embody their character to an extent where viewers are fooled, mesmerized, or entertained. Fans of the Sutherlands may find Jon Cassar’s western falls under the entertainment heading – simply watching the two family members act with each other would be considered a treat for some. Forsaken is just too damn noticeable though. Kiefer and Donald wisely refuse to wink or nod towards movie goers – they’re better than that. However, the production hasn’t put enough work towards masking the outside connection. Most of the time, it looks as if the Sutherlands were caught playing dress-up.
“A game of dress-up” pretty much sums up Forsaken. Even the unrelated showy performers look as if they’re very contently pleased with their period accessories and dusty attire. Picking up a paycheque is just an added bonus, it seems. Director Cassar (who has plenty of experience as a television producer) has acquired the proper resources and cast, but fails to make any of it feel genuine. Brad Mirman’s screenplay gets roped into the disillusion as well, which makes the dialogue detailing the dynamic between Kiefer and Donald emotionally manipulative.
It’s crummy to see talent – behind and in front of the camera – squandered on Forsaken, a droopy film that should’ve remained a Hollywood casting agent’s pipe dream.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie