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review by Bobby Blakey

A good crime thriller can bring some of the best twists and turns. Sadly, more often than not, they fall flat. When you have a strong cast like Samuel L. Jackson and Vincent Cassel along for the ride you have higher hopes than most. Their new film Damaged as the pair alongside Gianni Capaldi and John Hannah from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul director Terry McDonough at the helm. Could this film offer that something special or will it be a crime not worth solving?

Damaged follows a sadistic murderer who surfaces in Scotland, forcing terrified local authorities to call on a Chicago police detective who investigated a killing spree with the same horrific pattern five years earlier. Can these two detectives with tortured pasts trying to stop a merciless serial killer before he claims his next victim.

I am always leery of these kinds of films with big stars and not getting bigger pushes. I love Jackson and was excited to see him in something smaller and more intimate and have to say that while the film has its flaws, he is really good in it. The story weaves a tapestry of mystery as we are taken on this game of cat and mouse trying to solve the crimes.

The story is compelling and has lots of layers to build upon. This opens it up for a wider range of suspects and directions, but it is also the issue with it. They have infused so many side stories and elements to attempt to bring more depth that it gets to feel more like filler than actual substance. The actual case and its twists and turns is well executed and interesting, but it sometimes gets lost in everything else.

The pacing is kind of slow at times which would be fine, but the side elements and character over developing tends to point to obviously on the suspects that

would have been better to be a bigger mystery. Thankfully there are bigger secrets here that you still might not see coming and it helps to elevate the film a bit more.

The graphic nature of the crimes adds some further impact and are visually well done. I really enjoyed the aesthetic and story itself along with Jackson in the film it just needed to be tightened up. The film has a shorter run time so trimming it wouldn’t have been the solution, but maybe some different directions or added elements to the final act.

In the end it is a fine film that I still enjoyed, jut hoped for more. It even offers up a cliffhanger element as though they hoped to return to this crime, but not sure it is strong enough to warrant keeping the case open for the future.

Decide for yourself and check out Damaged in theaters, on-demand, and digital platforms on April 12th from

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