review by Bobby Blakey
The last few years Sylvester Stallone has been delivering the goods with his return to the world of Rocky in the Creed series as well as some additions to the Escape Plan franchise and currently working on an all-new Rambo film. That doesn’t mean he isn’t taking on some other projects that are not getting as much buzz including his latest Backtrace starring Ryan Guzman and Matthew Modine. Could this be another great action flick or will it be one that is hard to remember?
Backtrace follows MacDonald, who develops amnesia and is put into a prison psychiatric ward after suffering a brain injury from a bank heist gone wrong. Following his seventh year of incarceration, he is coerced by an inmate and a ward doctor to break out of prison, and he's injected with a serum that forces him to relive the life he's forgotten. MacDonald must now elude a local detective, a toughened FBI agent, and the drug's dangerous side effects to recover the stolen money. As you might easily be able to tell on the cover this is not a starring vehicle for Stallone, but one that he does have a decent sized part in. This film is led more by Modine and Guzman with an interesting story that sadly falls kind of flat.
There are some interesting elements here and could have made for a great action drama, but instead fell into the world of the generic for more stumbles than not. The first issue is the shaky cam just about throughout the whole film. I hate that type of film making any way but even more so when it is used throughout a film even during moments that wouldn’t be shaky in any way. It is just distracting and makes the film hard to watch. While this could be something to look past for some it gets lost a bit on its own story being all over the place.
I was hoping this would be one of those surprise gems with both Stallone and Modine involved and while not horrible just kind of came up generic. If you enjoy these kinds of movies or those involved then give it a shot and decide for yourself when Backtrace hits Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on February 19 from Lionsgate.