By Andrew Buckner
Rating: **** out of *****.
Fierce in attitude and execution, co-writer-director Tony Germinario’s Bad Frank (2017) is an all-around exceptional thriller. Germinario chronicles the manner our central figure, Frank Pierce (in a spellbinding and aggressive enactment from the Robert Pastorelli Rising Star Award-winning actor Kevin Interdonato), distributes his own brand of revenge. This is after the kidnapping of his wife, Gina (in a layered and harrowing depiction from Amanda Clayton). The source of such a horrific happenstance is a mysteriously fashioned individual with which Frank shares an equally cryptic history.
Germinario rigorously holds onto the formula of prior entries in this sub-genre. Yet, the production is so masterfully fashioned at every turn that such criticisms hardly register. This is until long after the carefully paced one-hundred and two-minute runtime has passed. The feature is also brilliant in the credible and often physically expressed fashion in which the internal struggles and initially same said aggression Frank is undergoing throughout the account is conveyed.
This is especially evident in the opening forty-five minutes. In this section, Germinario, via his deft guidance and collaborative scripting with performers on the project Russ Russo and Interdonato, potently focuses on the damaged association between Frank and Gina. Such makes Frank’s plight endlessly dramatic, powerful, compelling and intense. These aspects are augmented as he violently attempts to retrieve Gina in the later stretches of the piece.
The result of such smartly honed moves is a picture that is as primal, raw and stirring as it is memorable. We find ourselves cheering as well as relating to the visibly flawed, yet uncompromisingly human and relatable, character of Frank. This is even when his actions are at their most reprehensible. These attributes are made ever-more envy-inducing. This is as Germinario utilizes our invested sentiments in his lead to hone a riveting finale. The most interesting aspect of this conclusive bit is how it cleverly reconfigures an especially common narrative element to feel inspired and new.
In turn, audiences are delivered an electric experience. This is a brawny, bold and brutal cinematic exercise. It is one that simultaneously embraces and rises above its categorical trappings. This is without ever becoming overblown. When combined with Tom Sizemore’s incredible depiction of Mickey Duro and Mike Hechanova’s gorgeously gritty cinematography, the effort is ever-more encapsulating. Such qualities augment the spectacular nature of Bad Frank. Germinario is assuredly a talent to be watched.
(Unrated). Contains violence, language and adult themes.
Releases on Video on Demand in the United States on July 4th. The movie will be available worldwide in the previously stated platform on July 7th.
A Gravitas Ventures release.