Exposed Movie Info:
A detective (Keanu Reeves) uncovers police corruption while investigating the death of his partner.
Initial release: January 22, 2016 (USA)
Director: Declan Dale
Running time: 2 hours
Screenplay: Gee Malik Linton
Music composed by: Carlos José Alvarez
The confused, heel-dragging mystery drama Exposed suggests an especially dour, arty episode of Law & Order: SVU, minus any reasons to keep watching. Bringing all the presence of a victim-of-the-week part to a lead role, Ana De Armas stars as Isabel, a woman who experiences the sort of coincidental tragedy and sexual violence usually reserved for Lars Von Trier protagonists, prompting visits from music-video-esque angels and an apparently miraculous pregnancy. Meanwhile, NYPD Detective Galban (Keanu Reeves) pistol-whips and scowls his way through an investigation into the murder of his corrupt partner, which has to have something to do with Isabel, seeing as that’s the only reason a movie like this would keep cutting between two unrelated characters in what appear to be different time frames. First-time writer-director Gee Malik Linton had his name replaced with the Alan Smithee-style pseudonym “Declan Dale” after a falling out with the studio, which re-cut the film (originally titled Daughter Of God) before dumping it on to VOD and into a bare minimum of theaters.
If it’s any consolation to the parties involved, Exposed could have ended up being worse; however, it’s unlikely that it could have been much better. Trainwreck-bad movie enthusiasts will be disappointed to find a film largely defined by its lack of energy, in which every scene seems to be stalling for time. One crawling Steadicam shot, in which a gangster played by Big Daddy Kane engages a Haitian drug dealer in a semi-improvised discussion of criminal enterprise, brings to mind the zonked-out direct-to-video rapper vanity projects of the late ’90s and early 2000s. Reeves—who looks his age for once, thanks to an unflattering Cold War G-man haircut—is miscast as a Neanderthal loose cannon who beats up witnesses in front of their kids. (There’s some sick humor to the decision to re-name the movie Exposed, given that Galban spends much of the film wearing the tan raincoat of the archetypal flasher.) Intercutting two storylines is a tension-building technique that goes back to the silent era, but here, it just adds to the air of somnambulance; sometimes, the last shot of a scene is held for so long that the actors appear hypnotized into standing in place, waiting for a call of “Cut!” to snap them out of it.