Point Defiance is a well done thriller that reminds audiences of the most important part of the genre: the movie does a lot of things right before losing its way at the end. So, the next question becomes, if a thriller does not nail the landing, is it still good?
The plot focuses on two brothers. Peter Allen (Derek Phillips) is an online stock trader who lives alone. One day, his brother Alex (Josh Cotty) shows up unannounced at his doorstep. Alex is back from active duty and and seems to have PTSD and a drinking problem. There are other problems, however. Such as, why does Peter have to wear an ankle bracelet?
Point Defiance has a fairly small cast. The two brothers are the focus here. Therefore, it is incredibly important they work well with each other. A lack of chemistry runs the risk of ruining the immersion of the film.
Phillips and Cotty do a great job as the brothers. The normal dynamic plays out here. Peter is calmer and more level headed; Alex is much more aggressive. It sounds too familiar, especially with some of the cliche ridden dialogue. Thankfully, it never feels like that since writers Justin and Timothy Foia have written a story about two siblings that are much more alike than even they realize.
The mystery will engage audiences. There is the immediate question regarding Peter’s ankle bracelet. Before long, it becomes clear that is just one of many secrets between the two brothers. Before long, Point Defiance introduces a missing woman (or two) and the ramifications of a traumatic childhood. True to form, the twists keep adding up.
Some viewers may find problem here. Point Defiance throws a lot at the audience. Things become a little too twist happy and uninspired in the third act. There is nothing wrong with it, per se. It is just predictable. That being said, it works in the world of the movie and is satisfying.
Point Defiance has two strong leads and a captivating mystery. It is a tight story that hits all the right beats. The movie goes in some expected directions at times, but is an enjoyable watch that will keep audiences hooked to the end.
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