The Forger

The Forger Review

John Travolta stars as an art forger and single dad about to embark on one last gig so he can spend some quality time with his dying son in this passable potboiler that’s more of a character study than a thriller or a heist film.

Ray Cutter (Travolta) is a convicted felon and former peddler of stolen and faked paintings that has just returned to his old Boston area stomping grounds after begging a crime boss to bribe a judge for his early release. He moves back in with his con artist old man (Christopher Plummer, laying the Boston on thick and calling everyone boy-o), so he can spend some final moments with his son (Tye Sheridan), who has terminal brain cancer. The final job he has to do in exchange: steal and recreate Monet’s “Woman with Parasol” to give to a cartel boss in exchange for not killing the crime boss that snitched on Ray in the first place.

The Forger

Only the film isn’t really about the heist and forgery. It’s really about Ray and his son, and thanks to some great chemistry between Travolta, Sheridan, and Plummer as the core familial unit, the film largely succeeds. That is, until they get back to the main storyline, which feels oddly tossed off, leading to a really dull, easily resolved conclusion involving an investigating officer (Abigail Spencer) who isn’t that interesting of a character and really only exists to move the plot along.

It moves at a brisk pace, and the character stuff is alright, but there’s a distinct feeling that there should be more to the film’s actual motivation for existing in the first place.

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This review was originally published during TIFF 2014.



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