Directed by: Arturo Portillo
Written by: #ArturoPortillo
Miss, Miss, Bang Bang in this indie film from #filmmaker Arturo Portillo, with a huge cast, a sprawling crime plot, and enough artillery to make Arnold Schwarzenegger blush.
In Beaten, Frank Powers plays Bruise (no, stay with me now) a contract killer whose latest “hit” gets a lot more complicated when his target is none other than Redd (J. D. Marmion) the brother of his fianceé. After a botched shoot-up at a restaurant by another gaggle of hitmen, Bruise and Redd find themselves on the same team looking for revenge, a pursuit that goes to the highest offices in the city.
A frankly incoherent storyline, pointless subplots and a multitude of unnecessary characters makes Beaten an incredibly difficult movie to follow. It is a film rammed with boys playing with toy guns and exploding blood patches. So many violent killings occur with little or no explanation that the viewer will likely feel Beaten with the mindlessness of it all.
The performances are schlocky, with clunky dialogue being whipped out as quickly and clunkily as the weaponry.
It feels like a film being made by fanboys of 80s action movies on a budget not adjusted for inflation (to be fair, the budget was only $4,000). There are some nice moments of comedy, largely provided by the odd-couple pairing of Hector Dez and his unwilling assistant Manny Rubio. The main issue is that so many characters are battling for screen time and when they get it, priority is given to bullets and blood splatter.
That being said (and I could go on), there are some aspects to Portillo’s film that deserve credit. First off, some impressive #cinematography accompanies the aggressive criminal undertakings, such as a fantastic drone shot of the landscape or a heart-aching montage of Bruise after the shoot-out. The score is also efficient in keeping the pulse racing throughout.
Fans of movies like Heat, The Departed, and Lethal Weapon will not need to worry about making more space on their DVD shelf. Whilst Beaten borrows a lot from those films and others of their ilk, it does not bring the smarts with the story or indeed the memorable characters.
The glut of expendable characters in Portillo's flick are inert enough for audiences to care more about the scenery than the shootouts.
Watch the official movie trailer below.