A motivational book written by a mysterious man quickly gains popularity, inspiring a group of people that includes a journalist, his editor, a former inmate, a hip-hop mogul, an actor and an undercover cop to re-evaluate their choices and decisions by confronting their fears in hopes of creating more positive lives.
“Reach Me” aspires to be a lot of different things: drama, comedy, love story, mobster movie, thriller with a little action on the side but by the end of the movie, it still can’t seem to make up its mind. I had heard a lot of rumblings about this movie, even during its troubled production when an investor backed out and Mr. Stallone and the rest of the film’s producers had to resort to Kickstarter and Indiegogo to raise the remaining funds. Looking at the movie you wouldn’t be able to tell but the end result is a mixed bag, to say the very least. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I am a sucker for happy endings and while the big finale herein is exactly that, happy, it just feels a little ‘too’ forced.
The movie is an amalgamation of disparate characters from differing backgrounds from around the country who just all happen to be in sunny California, whether living there or simply passing through. What do they all have in common? A motivational, self-help book titled ‘Reach Me’, apparently written by a ghost writer that everybody is desperate to unmask but the book is instrumental in helping people all over the country re-evaluate their lives and their current situations for the better, whoever and wherever they are. Thomas Jane plays Wolfie, an undercover cop who just can’t stop killing bad guys and goes to his local priest, father Paul (Danny Aiello) on a daily basis to ask for confession.
Sylvester Stallone plays Gerald, a supposed sleazy journalist who is always after the next big story and has his guy Roger (Kevin Connolly), try to find out the identity of the book’s author and expose him, just so he can get the story and the glory. We also have former inmate Colette (Kyra Sedgwick), hip-hop mogul E-Ruption (Nelly), aspiring actress Eve (Elizabeth Henstridge) and an abundance of other colorful personalities. The intertwining plotlines and assorted characters instantly bring to mind higher caliber, similar themed movies like “Crash” and “11:14″ and even though they are regarded by many as overrated, they are still far superior to “Reach Me.”
But I digress, “Reach Me” is actually a much better movie than it has any right to be and director John Herzfeld helps that scenario by employing a who’s who of Hollywood A-listers, B-listers and everyone else in between. I felt like I was watching a home movie from a director who just happened to know a lot of famous people and asked them to appear, just for the fun of it. As well as the aforementioned cast, we also have Tom Berenger, Danny Trejo, Lauren Cohan, Kelsey Grammar, Terry Crews, Tom Sizemore, Cary Elwes, Frank Pesce and Sally Kellerman and after a while, the plot became secondary as I tried to name off as many actors as I possibly could.
In theaters November 21st
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