Release Date: TBD
Director: Desmond Devenish
MPAA Rating: NR
Run Time: 90 Minutes
Desmond Davenish’s tightly wound crime thriller Misfortune is a slight, but ultimately rewarding, tale about the aftermath of a heist gone wrong and the ripple effect it causes to the next generation.
Davenish writes, directs, produces and stars in the film as Boyd, a son who discovers the man who killed his father has just been released from prison and who is on the search for the diamonds Boyd’s father stole and buried in the desert. With the aid of his best friend, Russell, (Xander Bailey) and his girlfriend, Sloan (Jenna Kanell), Boyd decides to find the diamonds himself and get out of town before his dad’s killer finds them.
Though the narrative is simplistic, Misfortune proves to be an entertaining watch with its plot twists and occasional action sequences, all set to a desolate desert backdrop, something I always welcome in these types of films.
The script is barebones, devoid of exposition and over explanation of plot, keeping the story neat and tidy, never feeling bloated or overly dramatic. The same can be said for the sparse dialogue, keeping the characters focused on the task at hand: Find the diamonds. Sell the diamonds. Flee.
Of course, this doesn’t go as smoothly as the protagonist hopes, which adds a minute amount of complexity to the film, enough to make it more than just another forgettable crime drama.
Kevin Gage plays the villainous Malick, the killer of Boyd’s father and a near ghostlike antagonist who seems to appear at just the wrong time, proving himself to be a formidable foe. Gage effectively plays an evil SOB and adds some much-welcome flair to the film.
The rest of the performances are passable, but Davenish’s Boyd is a bit too brooding and impersonal to truly propel the film as the lead. Fortunately, Bailey’s Russell is a bit more animated, offsetting Boyd’s blank demeanor.
Because Misfortune seems so laser focused on keeping the characters on task, there’s a bit of a disconnect with them. Because we only know the bare minimum about these people, it’s difficult to care or indeed become invested in their story, making the overall narrative feel a bit lacking in the development department.
Still, while it may be lacking in some areas, Misfortune is a visually astute, entertaining thriller that showcases the obvious talent of Desmond Davenish and results in an effective, minimalist story with a satisfying conclusion.