‘…a tightly wound little clockwork thriller…’

‘Twisting in the wind’ might have been a better title for Anthony Vietro’s hard-boiled cop thriller; that’s a spoken line that sums up nicely the kind of involuntary dance most of the characters here are doing. We’re taking corrupt cops, turning state’s evidence, crosses and double-crosses; the kind of elements that used to be par for the course in grown-up cinema, but which are rarely seen outside of television these days. Yet there’s few devices more compelling than trying to guess the killer, and Collusions manages to transcend its low-fi roots by tapping into a primal area of interest.

Monica Zepeda’s script starts with a simple mystery; cop Sean (Jamison Jones) is missing, and his partner Lindsay (Kelli Joan Bennett) has some serious facial injuries including a missing tooth. Has there been a domestic blow-out, or is something more complex in the works? Sean’s cop-partner Martin (Tom Everett Scott) is on the case, and senses that Lindsay’s role in an upcoming mob trial might be a factor…

Collusions is a small indie flick, made without too much visual flair on LA locations; it’s very much a B movie, but that’s no bad thing. What makes it stand-out is a script that aims to entertain; Martin’s investigation turns up with a body, but how that body actually died is a tricky matter, and at least four different resolutions are offered up. This is very much Agatha Christie updated, and a good look for a low-budget thriller; at least there’s a plot to jump back and forward around, and some fun in the way that both audience and characters are deceived. The LA legal community seems a little too close knit for credibility on this evidence, and the dentistry scenes might make you squirm, but all in all, most of the big decisions land here.

Collusions was very much part of my ‘I’ll give this 15 mins’ check on indie projects, but I made it to the end far more gripped than many big name or big budget productions. In a familiar cast, Jones, Scott and Steven Culp all fill their roles well, and Bennett excels in a gritty, unglamorous role; she’s also listed as a producer, so might as well give herself a chance to shine. Collusions may not be the sensational new product that many critics search for, but it’s a tightly wound little clockwork thriller, and is worth a look for those seeking something smarter than the usual eye-candy.

Collusions is in select US theaters and on VOD from August 202. Thanks to Jive PR for access.



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