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What do Forest Whitaker and Sanaa Lathan share? Repentance, a made for TV movie

Movie poster for Repentance

Repentance (2014)


*Spoiler Alert*

Good gracious, this movie Repentance...unacceptable. Literally. It's simply terrible. I'm currently in repentance because I want money back for my movie ticket I bought. That alone should be an indication for you not to waste your money on seeing this film; wait for it to come on Netflex or Lifetime Movie Network or something. Repentance should've definitely been one of those movies released straight to DVD or on TV.

I must say that I'm pretty shocked that I feel this way, though. Generally speaking, I love watching Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, and Sanaa Lathan in film because they play an array of interesting characters that keep my attention. They have plenty of great roles, but not this time.

Now, what exactly is Repentance about? Let me give you a synopsis. Tommy (Anthony Mackie) and his brother, Ben (Mike Epps), drink and drive and end up crashing into someone. Four years pass. Tommy becomes a successful, well-educated self-help guru and author while Ben becomes a convict; they keep their secret. At one of Tommy's book signings, he meets Angel (Forest Whitaker), who is suffering from bi-polar disorder worsened by his mother's untimely murder. Eventually, Tommy agrees to counsel and help Angel through his difficulties. Angel ends up kidnapping and torturing Tommy until he admits what he has done wrong. Then, Angel eventually kidnaps and tortures Tommy's wife (Sanaa Lathan) and his brother, Ben. Basically, that's what the whole movie is about.

Sounds like a fairly decent plot, doesn't it? Welp, it isn't. What was wrong with it you ask? Plenty.

First of all, I found myself laughing out loud as if it was a comedy, although it clearly isn't one. For example, by no means do I think that Mike Epps is an actor worthy of Oscar praise, but his characterization of Ben was extremely hilarious because he was trying too hard to be serious that it came off forced and phony. Namely, his fake "New Orleans" accent had me cracking up in the movie theater because he sounded like a Cash Money Records reject rapper from 1999 and the 2000. Then, when he called himself getting upset, his acting was very "90s after school TV special." He straight stormed off after an argument. And, the part of the movie when we discover that Tommy and Ben are the ones responsible for Angel's mom's death (Gasp! Not really, it was pretty easy to figure this out in the beginning)...over the top. Ben picks her off of the ground while she is still alive, gives this blank look, and childishly shakes his head "no" as he tosses the old lady over the bridge to her death. What the? Moving on.

Tommy also appears to always be knocked out, too. When the car crashes, he gets knocked out. Angel hits him in the head with a pipe; he gets knocked out. He escapes. Angel catches him and pushes his head into the wall. Guess what happens? That's right; he gets knocked out. Tommy even saws off his fingers to release the chains from his wrists to get away, but it's all in vain. He gets knocked out again.

Furthermore, why was Angel's daughter constantly being left alone at home or locked in her bedroom? He would leave her there and then return to the torturing of his captives. Child abuse much?

Then, the end had me cracking up. Angel's dead mother appears in a window and rubs her temples and points to him (she apparently did this rubbing action while she was still alive to soothe and calm him) as he walks away with his daughter. He stares back at her and smiles. Suddenly, he's sane again and everything is at peace. Really? How corny of an ending can this be?

So, what was the best part of the movie? I'd say the first two minutes when I said to myself, "Hmm, this is going to be a good."

To me, the plot had a lot of potential, but this acting and this plot are just ridiculous. At the end of the day, this movie needs to be placed in a vault and stricken from all of these actors' movie record. Maybe they should call Olivia Pope for a cover up of this movie scandal.

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