Director: Gee Malik Linton (as Declan Dale)
Cast: Ana de Armas, Keanu Reeves, Christopher McDonald
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 5.5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
As a police officer investigates the death of his partner, the case exposes disturbing police corruption along with a dangerous secret that leads him to a troubled young woman.
‘Exposed’ jumps between the focus of two largely unconnected storylines, the first that of a young woman named Isabel (de Armas) who lives with her in-laws while awaiting her husband’s return from war when she suddenly begins having unexplainable visions such as seeing angels and men walking on air only to discover shortly thereafter that she has become unexplainably pregnant which she takes to be a miracle from god; the second storyline following police Detective Galban (Reeves) who after the murder of his partner with no leads to go on, begins to dig deeper into rumors and speculation about the man which stars to unravel a world of police corruption, much of which arising after the discovery of photos his partner took the night of his death, one of which showing a mysterious girl who Galban believes may hold the answers to unraveling the mystery.
The film was written and directed by Gee Malik Linton, although Linton apparently (and successfully) fought to have his name removed as director after the film was drastically cut from his preferred vision by the studio (more information regarding this matter in the subsequent paragraph), and while it’s hard to appreciate what we’ve been provided here, there is certainly an obvious talent and beauty within his guidance. The cast includes a number of recognizable individuals combined with some lesser known talent including Ana de Armas (Knock, Knock), Keanu Reeves (The Matrix), Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore), Big Daddy Kane (Posse), Laura Gómez (TV’s Orange Is The New Black), Mira Sorvino (Mimic), Michael Rispoli (TV’s Magic City), Gabe Vargas (Run) and more, all of whom deliver capable if not impressive performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Exposed’ has some real heart and an interesting premise which hints at the perspective of something which could have been truly magnificent, yet unfortunately it comes off more as sloppy, confusing and at times downright baffling in the lack of explanation and random jumps and cuts throughout. It does have its solid points and holds up in many scenes; nonetheless, even the capable guidance from the director and the talented cast are unable to truly save the film from itself. That being said, what I discovered after viewing the film and looking further into it was something unexpected, yet completely unsurprising as well. The film released was apparently a drastically different movie from that of which the director initially envisioned and even completed. Based on the information I’ve been able to acquire, the film was initially titled ‘Daughter Of God’ and when purchased by Lionsgate was supposedly hacked apart and cut down in order to focus primarily on being a cop thriller starring Keanu Reeves while the initial version featured him as merely a supporting character, with the primary focus being that of Ana de Armas’ character Isabel. The rumors claim that the studio was uninterested in a film that was nearly 70 percent Spanish spoken and made the necessary changes to appease what they had hoped to purchase in the film, namely a police thriller starring Reeves. Please do keep in mind that this is all information I’ve gathered from various sources and therefore I cannot entirely vouch for its reliability, although I have double checked many rumors and comments and there is additionally a campaign seemingly supported by de Armas and others from the film currently running which implores Lionsgate to release the director’s cut of the film.
Overall, ‘Exposed’ is entertaining and it has its notable moments, but the apparent drastic cutting and altering the film by the studio results in a sloppy and uneven film which always seems to feel off or missing something crucial (perhaps the 30+ minutes of removed footage?). It might be worth giving a watch if you happen to catch it on a premium channel one evening, although I would recommend not going out of your way to get your hands on this one unless the director’s cut is eventually released down the road which might hopefully resolve some of the film’s most significant issues.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Exposed’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole, delivering a consistently sharp and detailed presentation with no notable faults to speak of found within. It holds up admirably even during the numerous darkly lit sequences, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic high definition video presentation that should generally please.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds fantastic and provides a clean, crisp and occasionally hard hitting audio presentation throughout, utilizing all five available channels in order to immerse the viewer with the films powerful score along with sending some crowd chatter, mild action elements and other general activity throughout the speakers, while never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Exposed’ includes a single Behind the Scenes Featurette: ‘Making Exposed’ (running approximately 12 minutes in length), and ‘Cast Interviews’ with ‘Keanu Reeves’ (running approximately 8 minutes), ‘Mira Sorvino’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘Ana De Armas’ (3 minutes), ‘Chris McDonald’ (4 minutes), ‘Michael Rispoli’ (3 minutes) and ‘Big Daddy Kane’ (4 minutes). The ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes) is also included.