44 Days of Paranoia #35: A Dark Truth (dir by Damian Lee)

For the latest entry in the 44 Days of Paranoia, we take a look at one of the more obscure films of 2013.  A Dark Truth was briefly released last January and it didn’t get much attention.  Having recently watched the film, I can understand why.

A Dark Truth (subtle name, no?) opens with a lengthy and disturbing scene of men, women, and children being chased through the jungle by machine gun-wielding soldiers.  As we eventually learn, the people fleeing are the citizens of a village in Ecuador and the soldiers are there on a mission to kill every single one of them.  It’s such a disturbing and well-shot sequence that I watched it with a sinking feeling because I knew that there was no way the rest of the film would be able to live up to it.

And it turns out I was right.  Director Damian Lee seemed to realize this as well because he revisits the footage every time his film starts to drag.  Unfortunately, the more we see these violent images, the less powerful they become.  By the end of the film, that whole opening sequence has lost whatever power it had simply because we’ve seen it one too many times.

It turns out that the soldiers were working for a — wait for it! — Big Evil Corporation.  It seems that this Canadian water purification company accidentally poisoned the village’s water and this led to several villagers getting sick.  An executive, who is so villainous that he’s played by Kim Coates, ordered that all the villagers be executed.  Among the few that escaped was a veteran political activist (Forest Whitaker) and his wife (Eva Longoria).

Meanwhile, in Canada, corporate executive Deborah Kara Unger finds out what the company did in Ecuador.  Wracked with guilt, she hires former CIA Agent-turned-talk radio host Andy Garcia to go down to Ecuador and rescue Whitaker.

A Dark Truth, which obviously aspires to be something more than just a conventional action thriller, is a film that starts with an exciting bang but then ends with a whimper that, even if you have managed to stay awake while watching it, you’ll barely hear.  This is one of the slowest films ever made (it certainly feels longer than 105 minutes) and the excessively stylized direction can’t make up for the fact that the film’s plot and dialogue are both painfully predictable.  About the only thing that The Dark Truth has going for it is that, while Longoria is painfully miscast, the film does feature good performances from Garcia, Whitaker, and Coates.  Best of all is Kevin Durand, who plays a hired assassin here.  Durand doesn’t get to say much  but he’s such an intimidating physical presence that he doesn’t need to say much.

Seriously, somebody needs to give Kevin Durand his own action franchise.

Other Entries In The 44 Days of Paranoia 

  1. Clonus
  2. Executive Action
  3. Winter Kills
  4. Interview With The Assassin
  5. The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald
  6. JFK
  7. Beyond The Doors
  8. Three Days of the Condor
  9. They Saved Hitler’s Brain
  10. The Intruder
  11. Police, Adjective
  12. Burn After Reading
  13. Quiz Show
  14. Flying Blind
  15. God Told Me To
  16. Wag the Dog
  17. Cheaters
  18. Scream and Scream Again
  19. Capricorn One
  20. Seven Days In May
  21. Broken City
  22. Suddenly
  23. Pickup on South Street
  24. The Informer
  25. Chinatown
  26. Compliance
  27. The Lives of Others
  28. The Departed
  29. A Face In The Crowd
  30. Nixon
  31. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  32. The Purge
  33. The Stepford Wives
  34. Saboteur

2 responses to “44 Days of Paranoia #35: A Dark Truth (dir by Damian Lee)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Picks The 16 Worst Films of 2013 | Through the Shattered Lens

  2. Pingback: 44 Days of Paranoia #36: The Fugitive (dir by Andrew Davis) | Through the Shattered Lens

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