Sunday, June 1, 2014

Beyond the Trophy

Releases on DVD June 3rd, 2014
1 hr 39 mins
Not rated



Daniel J. Gillin


Michael Madsen as Cole Lambert
Stephen Cloud as Det. Terry Wells
Eric Roberts as Sgt. Bachman
Michael Masini as Danny O'Neill
Tommy 'Tiny' Lister as Billy Thomas
Ben Maccabee as Mark Bradford
Nicole Andrews as Lana
Ali Costello as Angela
Robert Miano as Gino
Alek Carrera as Jake Le Blanc

Review by Stephen M.

SYNOPSIS: BEYOND THE TROPHY tells the story of men’s obsession with power and how far they will go to claim the “prize”.  Two rival gangs in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, led by Gino (Robert Miano) and Cole (Michael Madsen), are vying for control.  Danny (Michael Masini), an LAPD undercover police detective, goes deep into gangland to infiltrate one gang to bring down both. Along the way, he becomes entangled with the beautiful and seductive Angela (Ali Costello), whose relationship with her husband Jake and mob leader Gino makes her the focal point of an intoxicating romantic equation-with deadly consequences. Her dream is to escape the wrath of evil abusive men, and find the love she never knew.

Beyond the Trophy is one of the movies you wish you would never have watched.  I love gangster movies, but the Director does such a poor job by trying to be innovative in his story telling that it becomes impossible to watch.  There are just too many characters introduced with too many side stories that doesn't tie well together to make it feel coherent.  Which is a darn shame considering there are a few bright spots in the film.  Bright spots such as two of the main characters Stephen Cloud as Det. Terry Wells and Michael Masini as Danny O'Neill putting on good performances at least in contrast to the poor performances by their peers such as Michael Madsen as Cole Lambert and Ben Maccabee as Mark Bradford.

Besides the difficult to follow plot, the cinematography is highly questionable.  With a mixture of cameras including grainy footage of the "cops" running around doing their busts, it just adds to the low budget feel of it instead of adding to the film.  In addition, the transitions from scene to scene of which there are plenty using a fade with a playing card gets to be extremely annoying especially when it's happening so frequently.  And that's just it, the Director changes from scene to scene quickly and frequently than your brain can acclimate to.

Overall, I would not recommend this film.  If you must watch it, wait for it to come out on Netflix.  There are just so many better gangster movies to watch than this on film or television.  I would suggest keeping an eye on the actor Stephen Cloud but just not in this film.  Give the new Gang Related series on FOX a try or Boardwalk Empire on HBO.


Tagged: , , , , , , , ,