The Forger (2014)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Forger</strong> (2014)

(Video on Demand, June 2015) Anyone would be forgiven for thinking, upon reading The Forger’s plot summary (“Ex-con forger does one last job”) that this would be a heist crime thriller.  But the film itself is a bit more nuanced; it’s got a lot more family drama than criminal action as a convicted forger voluntarily agrees to a dangerous heist in order to spend time with his dying son.  There’s a lot of family bonding, some heart-breaking sequences (such as when the son’s estranged mom, hopelessly addicted to drugs, manages to hold it together and pass herself off for normal during a one-day reunion), considerations on how to forge a painting, and a lot of John Travolta brooding on-screen as the titular protagonist.  In other words, The Forger is its own kind of movie, heavier on drama than thrills, the likes of which doesn’t fit in today’s all-spectacular theatrical ecosystem.  Travolta does pretty good work in a role far less flashy and far more brooding than he’s usually asked to play.  The film itself feels a bit dull and unfocused (the heist itself feels like an afterthought), but that may just be a reflection of how today’s audiences have been conditioned to accept more flash and a consistent tone throughout an entire film.  For a similar experience in selecting a genre picture that turns out to be a drama, also see Mark Whalberg’s The Gambler

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