DVD Review: Rev

STUDIO: Lionsgate | DIRECTOR: Ant Horasanli | CAST: Vivica A. Fox, Sam Asante, Sebastian Deery, Francisca Dennis, Hannah Gordon
RELEASE DATE: May 12, 2020 | PRICE: DVD $13.99
SPECS: R | 90 min. | Action thriller | 1.85:1 widescreen | stereo

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes):
Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall 

“In the greater Toronto area a car is stolen every 97 seconds. The crime is better known as Grand Theft Auto.” So begins Rev, a Canadian-produced action-thriller about the illegal underworld of exotic car thieves.

When Mikey (Francesco Filice, The Manhattan Project) boosts a $200k sportster belonging to a police detective – yes, a detective – he is forced to become an undercover informant within the city’s top grand theft ring. The ring is led by Charlie (Sean Rey, who doesn’t have the gravitas to exude the violent and impulsive tendencies of his character), whose inner circle includes his right hand man Sammy, an overcompensating Alex Loubert (Dangerous Persuasions) and his beautiful girlfriend Ava, Hannah Gordon (Spinning Out). The three have perfected an organized system of shipping their stole goods overseas and are about to expand into a lucrative new region of West Africa.

I thought I was in for an enjoyable crime adventure that had a touch of Baby Driver, a dash of Logan Lucky and pinch of Gone in 60 Seconds. That optimism faded as Mikey’s arrest laid out a storyline that became immediately predictable. All the typical tropes are hit in Rev – instant friendship and trust forming between a crime boss and the informant, said crime boss’s longtime partner distrusts the new member, informant begins romantic relationship with boss’s girlfriend, multiple party scenes with barely dressed women and so on.

Could a predictable film still be enjoyable to watch? It could, if it features interesting characters and a well-developed script. But that’s not the case here. As Mikey gets further imbedded into the group, Sammy goes rogue, making a side deal with their African connection to export drugs inside the cars without Charlie’s knowledge. With the stakes raised, Mikey gets cold feet about remaining undercover but he’s stuck, being blackmailed with photos of his tryst with Ava…by Detective Reid (Vivica A. Fox, TV’s Empire)! Huh? Then Mikey attends a briefing on the upcoming raid which takes place – wait for it – at the police station! Yes, the undercover informant walks in and out of the front door of the police station and, of course, is spotted by the bad guys.

With Rev, director/co-writer Ant Horasanli (whose work in drug-running and car-chasing narratives includes the 2016 web series Petrol and the 2017 feature Gear) revs up the speed of the storytelling so much that he sacrifices the scenes necessary to develop solid connections between the characters. And though Horasanli is in his wheelhouse here, the car bits and action sequences aren’t all that fun or engaging.

That said, those looking for a speed fix will be better served with the Fast & Furious series or the aforementioned Gone in 60 Seconds, the original or the remake.

Buy or Rent Rev

About Janine

Janine is a dedicated fan of the 1940 film Kitty Foyle, directed by Sam Wood, written by Dalton Trumbo and starring Ginger Rogers, who won an Oscar for her portrayal. And seeing that film is all it took to make her a lifelong movie lover. Janine is excited to add her insights to the great team at DishDisc.com.