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Betrayed (2018) - Movie Review

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Betrayed - Movie Review

Writer/director Harley Wallen (Moving Parts) is back behind the camera.  This time he is handling the subject of human trafficking.  Unfortunately, the strong production values and sureness behind the camera can’t overcome a weak script and even weaker performances from a large portion of the cast. 

Obviously, I wanted to enjoy this flick more than I did.  Bummer.  I will say this about his latest action flick, when John Savage (The Deer Hunter) as Mayor Don Alderman and Billy Worth (The Lost Boys) as Mike are on the screen, Betrayed comes alive.  If only they were present more, we might have different results.  But that’s not what happens with this story. 

"the all-out war teased throughout the movie never actually happens.  All of this makes the audience feel, well, betrayed"


Because the rest of the cast, especially the performances from Aphrodite Nikolovski and Jennifer Jelsema as the two lead detectives assigned to track down the missing girls and infiltrate the Russian Mob that the Mayor has openly invited into the city, just become the victims of really awful dialogue, unauthentic performances, and a been there, done that script that doesn't tell the all-out war narrative that it needs to. 

Normally, in B-movies, we can shrug this off.  You can’t here due to the seriousness of it all.  Bummer.  Going to need a 12-pack for this one.  In fact, it is only during the super-serious autopsy scene where the chuckles begin.

So, with two detectives trying to hunt down missing girls, including the Mayor’s daughter Marie (Kaiti Wallen, the real wife of Wallen), one government official learns the hard way that pushing around the Mob with threats from the Mexican cartel aren’t going to go over too well.  He’s in a no-win situation, so the big guns must be called in.

This is where the film gets exciting.

Outside of a stomach-churning autopsy, performed by a very dense (or confused) coroner (Yan Birch, who is entertaining here), and a lackluster “bar” fight, there’s not much in the way of action.  That changes with the inclusion of Mike (Worth) and Alpha (TJ Storm) as the hired “help” to bring Marie home.  With strong performances, they give us a gnarly scene of flinger-snipping torture and a person to cheer for with real ass-kicking abilities. 

Unfortunately, with two female leads in the role of detectives, Wallen’s script just hangs them out to dry with typical (if not goofy) lines in every other police procedural on television.  Here, other than getting in the way, they don’t have much to do.  Mike and Alpha take care of that, but the all-out war teased throughout the movie never actually happens.  All of this makes the audience feel, well, betrayed.

Co-starring Jerry Hayes as the chief of police and Wallen himself as the Russian agent who double-crosses the Mayor, Betrayed is tough to laugh at.  The subject matter of teenage girls being abducted and turned out as sex slaves is a real problem and definitely not something to make light of.  But mistakes are made throughout the production that severely limit its appeal. 

Betrayed - Movie Review

There is an ultra-serious tone established early on, in the opening scene in which girls out on a Saturday night are abducted and assaulted, that is both shocking and sobering.  We know this is happening to girls everywhere.  It is sad in its escalation and tragic in its effect.  Unfortunately, what follows this engaged opening is a mixed bag of B-movie body blows and gunfire.

Betrayed will be released on Blu Ray and DVD and VOD by Vision Films through a distribution deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment this month.  It is now available through streaming services.

2 stars

Betrayed - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
98 mins
Director
: Harley Wallen
Writer:
Harley Wallen
Cast:
John Savage, Billy Wirth, Richard Tyson
Genre
: Action | Crime
Tagline:
Keep your enemies close in the motor city.
Memorable Movie Quote: "We found another body in the dumpster."
Theatrical Distributor:
Vision Films
Official Site: www.facebook.com/PaintedCreekProductions/
Release Date:
October 2, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 2, 2018
Synopsis: In an effort to control the city the Mayor opens the doors to the Russian Mob. It is not long until he realizes they aren't going to follow his rules. To fix the problem he accepts an offer to set up the Russians and open the door for the Cartel. When the Russians find out they take the Mayors Daughter and then the real games begin.

Betrayed - Movie Review

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Betrayed - Movie Review

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