When American couple, Steven (Ryan Philippe) and Shannon (Rachelle Lefevre), travel to Haiti to spend time with their newly adopted daughter, a chance encounter with would-be stranger, Benjamin (John Cusack), sees their family torn apart when their daughter disappears. They soon discover that all is not what it seems and uncover a high stakes underground child trafficking scam, which sends them on a high-octane mission of retribution. Now, they must risk their own lives to uncover the truth and bring their family back together.
Films like this are difficult to accurately rate. On the one hand, Reclaim keeps you entertained throughout its run, but on the other hand, its story fell short of what it could have been.
The film follows an American couple who have been unable to become parents. Desperate to both have a child and make a positive difference in the world, they travel to Puerto Rico to adopt a young Haitian girl. But things quickly take a turn for the worse when she suddenly disappears, and the young couple discover they have been duped by a massive underground scam. Determined to expose the scam and save all three of their lives, they will be forced to do what they never knew they were capable of.
I have given this film a rating of three out of five stars, and the reasons are as follows:
The story was interesting and unique; something I had never seen before. It contained plot twists that made you want to keep watching, and, despite the filmic dramatics, you still knew that it was based on real life events. The story was at times rather lack lustre, and the film would not have had half the impact if it wasn’t for the use of course language.
This cast are not what you would call A-listers, but I was pleasantly surprised with their performances. John Cusack did an excellent job at playing the ‘bad guy’. Over the last few years he has worked hard to ‘reclaim’ his former film glory, and though he isn’t there yet, he still manages to make some good films. It was also refreshing to see Ryan Phillippe back on film - looking like he hasn’t aged a bit! - and he did a good job.
In more technical terms, the film was visually interesting. Lithe camera movements kept you apart of the action, and the dialogue wasn’t overly cliche or static.
It is quite obvious that this film focused on fraud, and the horrific world of child trafficking. However, Reclaim didn’t delve into the subject as thoroughly as it could have; so it kind of missed its mark.
It was surprising to see how many negative reviews this film received. This was from critics and audience members alike. I wouldn’t say they were particularly incorrect in their statements, but there were some redeeming qualities I think they overlooked.
The film’s language and violent contents makes it unacceptable for children, but it runs for a good length (an hour and a half) so most audience members shouldn’t be too bored with the plot. It doesn’t come as much of a shock that it has mostly been released as a straight-to-DVD film, but that doesn’t mean it should be shelved away. Have a watch, and decide for yourself.