Reclaim (2014)

(Video on Demand, August 2015) What happened with John Cusak for him to show up in so many this-side-of-straight-to-video thrillers, usually as the ambiguously bad guy?  I’m not sure, but Reclaim could have been a bit worse without him.  The story of two Americans who travel abroad to pick up their newly-adopted daughter, Reclaim soon turns into a nightmare as the young girl disappears and it becomes clear that the two protagonists have been conned out of their money by unscrupulous organized thieves.  Things escalate before long, as they try to bring in police to uncover the plot.  Rachelle Lefebvre gets a good role as the woman, while Ryan Phillipe continues his recent comeback with a generic but sympathetic role.  Elsewhere, Luis Guzman gets to shine as an honest cop trying to help, while John Cusak lets his charm fool us as to whether he’s truly good or bad.  Benefitting from some good location vistas in Puerto Rico, Reclaim does have a nice sense of narrative forward rhythm.  While the ending gets a bit long and unlikely while some of the evens are predictable, the film is wrapped up nicely enough not to make us resent the time spent watching it.  As for Cusak, I don’t know: vacations, unpaid debt, unexplainable fondness for the theme?  All I’m saying is that without his name, I wouldn’t have watched the film.

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