Rise (2014)




Mack Lindon




Nathan Wilson, Martin Sacks, Marty Rhone, Erin Connor, Vincent B. Gorce, Andy Sparnon, Linda Millar, Mack Lindon, James Kearney, Jason Muller, Anthony Miller, Ashley Pardey, Liz Cantor


Will McIntyre (Nathan Wilson), a young nurse has his life thrown in turmoil after a one-night stand lands him in a maximum security prison from a false allegation of rape and drink spiking. Will must survive prison life and the infamous Jimmy Cove (Martin Sacks) while awaiting his appeal.


Unlike many other times, I went into this movie knowing exactly what it was about. I didn't know anyone from the cast, nor the director, but I knew the storyline and it was enough to make me interested. I wouldn't say I had high hopes, but I sure was disappointed.

"Rise" is a poorly written and poorly acted prison drama that is neither entertaining nor inspirational as it aspires to be.

Since false rape accusations rarely occur in life - even though they are a popular theme in fiction -, it is quite difficult to make a believable film about it. The problem with this one is not only that the plot is completely unbelievable, but that it is based on the real life experience of writer and director Mack Lindon, who spent 19 months in jail before being found not guilty.

The opening, pre-credit sequence - and pretty much all the film - is filmed in a music video style, and serves as an introduction to the film's protagonist. While I'm not sure about its purpose, one thing I know for sure: we never see what really happened between Will and the girl, nor we know what her motive for the allegations is other than some unlikely excuse told later in the film.

From a bad music video, "Rise" slowly becomes a film filled with as many prison drama clich├ęs as possible that focuses on the bonding between Will and some fellow prisoners. It also tries to convey a message about Christian forgiveness. Like I just said, tries.

Neither the soundtrack does help the film. Not only the songs are not a joy for the ears, but, most of the time, are too invasive and definitely don't fit the scene.

The acting is pretty much on the same level of everything else. With the only exception of Martin Sacks, who actually does a pretty good job considering the poor material he had to work with, each member of the cast looks amateurish, like the director picked some random people on the streets and asked them to act.

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