HTS Moderator , Reviewer
HTS Overall Score:70
It used to be that the names Al Pacino and Anthony Hopkins brought butts into the theater seats and was indicative of something good (or at least well produced). Anymore those names don’t inspire that same confidence and instead bring to mind images of phoned in performances and cheap DTV budgets. Well, sadly in the case of “Misconduct” we’re closer to the latter than the former. Shintaro Shimosawa’s over bloated and over convoluted puzzle piece mystery/thriller runs the gambit of clichés and comes back again with a few more under its belt for a surprise ending. There’s elements of “A Perfect Murder” as well as a myriad of other “rich guy and poor setup victim” films here, but nothing really worth mentioning as the soggy and heavy script just borrows bits and pieces from all of them without shame.
Good old boy Lawyer, Ben Cahill (Josh Duhamel) is given some rather interesting evidence by the ritzy girlfriend of pharmaceutical CEO and founder Arthur Denning (Anthony Hopkins). It seems that Mr. Denning is in the middle of a big scandal where one of his drugs has caused enormous amount of pain and suffering to many users. As such he’s been under investigation for quite a while. However this new evidence brings to light the truth. Arthur knew about the situation and covered it up to protect his profits. The quirk of the situation is that this girlfriend (played by Malin Akerman) was ALSO (at one point in time) the girlfriend of Ben as well. Leary of the ex who once threatened suicide, he proceeds with caution. That is until a strange set of circumstances unfold.
His old girlfriend ends up dead, assassins are after him, and a whole rigmarole of twists and turns from all sides of the fence end up with a situation where all crosshairs are on Ben’s chest. A pair of kidnapping experts in the form of Julia Stiles and Marcus Brown start to question things. Ben’s wife, Charlotte (Alice Eve) has motives of her own, and soon a mysterious ninja known as “The Accountant” starts taking out victims to cover the convoluted trail that just may well lead to the truth.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=69058[/img]“Misconduct” is a giant mysterious puzzle where all of the pieces fit together by the end of the film (even if some of the pieces have to be hammered in with some force). Things are never what they seems and you’re guaranteed for a bit of twist and reveal by the end of the film where the real villain and motive is finally uncovered. The problem with the movie is that you really shouldn’t look too closely at all those puzzle pieces, as they start to fall apart under careful scrutiny. The convoluted looping in on itself and constant second guessing characters is what keeps the viewer from just laughing at the very obvious and very simple explanation that’s under your nose the entire time. The one redeeming part to those whole mess is the fact that director Shintaro Shimosawa uses a rather engaging camera style that follows the characters rather closely and creates a sort of intimacy to their actions.
Hopkins and Pacino are rather wasted as they usually are these days. Hopkins just sleep walks through the film, playing the calm and cool version of Hannibal Lector while everyone else over reacts around him. Duhamel is livable as the frustrated lawyer, but he’s not exactly a bastion of great acting either. Pacino hams it up with a horrible Louisiana accent and really doesn’t do much more than pop in and out of the frame for show. The real tragedy is Julia Stiles. She does a very solid job with the limited role she’s given, but the script doesn’t allow her to really do much. Amusingly enough, she’s the best character in the whole movie and she’s basically a cardboard cutout with the lack of support she gets.
Rated R for language, violence and some sexuality/nudity
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=69066[/img]The 2.39:1 AVC encoded Blu-ray image looks rather nice, with a strong olive colored complexion to the color grading and impressive detail. The movie is a bit dimly lit at time, and the olive colored grading doesn’t do a whole lot of good for the black levels. There’s some washing out in the darker bits and well as some minor banding and crush. Fine detail is very good in brightly lit scenes and quite decent in low lit scenes as well. Especially in regards to the stitching and detailing on clothing. Contrast levels are quite good and skin tones remain fairly natural (although sometimes affected by the light olive color grading which can give them a bit of a sickly hue at times).
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=69074[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA is a pleasant sounding track, and one that is especially defined by the heavy amounts of bass slathered throughout. From the first few moments of the film we are privy to some impressively powerful bass lines that don’t let up the entire movie. Gun shots, motorcycle, and the almost oppressive score all are filled with gut punching mid bass that really adds some punch to the otherwise front heavy experience. Dialog is strong and clean, with good presence in the center channel. There’s some nice surround ticks here and there, especially with some of the more action oriented scenes (think of “The Accountant” and his face off in the church or on his bike). It’s a good track, and one that has a surprisingly large amount of LFE in an otherwise fairly straight forward and front heavy experience.
• "The Making of Misconduct" Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
“Misconduct” is a bland and rather predictable thriller that covers up the emptiness by employing lots of double backs and confusion in the script to create a sort of tension for the viewer to hang on to. Take that away and reveal the fact that the emperor has no clothes, and you kind of feel cheated by the end of the hour and 46 minute runtime. There’s a few decent performances, and this is nowhere near Voltage Pictures or Steven Seagal level of bad, but there is just a sense of forgettableness to the movie that leaves the viewer a bit bored and restless. Audio is great and video is very impressive, but I’d still just leave this one in the Redbox Kiosk unless you’re really bored. Skip It.
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino, Josh Duhamel
Directed by: Shintaro Shimosawa
Written by: Simon Boyes, Adam Mason
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 105 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: April 19th 2016
Buy Misconduct Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
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