Gee wiz, another black-centric film about disturbing affairs. Why is this such a trend? Is that all the black community does? Cheat on their significant others while one of them is a sociopath on the verge of mass murder? I mean, how different does this really look when stood against such cinematic stinkers like THE PERFECT GUY (2015), OBSESSED (2009), and ADDICTED (2014)? I’d swear to Christ on high that they were the same fucking movies!
Well, let’s take a look at the cast. Oh, poor Morris Chestnut. For an otherwise good actor, this guy gets the worst breaks. I got introduced to him through the entertainingly bad 2002 films, HALF PAST DEAD and LIKE MIKE. He fares much better on television, having been in some pretty popular shows like NURSE JACKIE, AMERICAN HORROR STORY, and V, the remake. But his streak of subpar movies continues with this latest installment to his credits. Co-starring along Chestnut is Regina Hall. Many will recognize her from her frequent appearance in the Scary Movie franchise, as well as other black-centric comedies like the Think Like a Man movies, THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY (2013), and ABOUT LAST NIGHT (2014). For some reason, the trailers are really pushing “and introducing” Jaz Sinclair, which seems odd to me because… she’s done other stuff before. Her last film was PAPER TOWNS (2015) and brief appearances in TV shows like REVOLUTION and RIZZOLI AND ISLES. “Introducing” credits are usually reserved for actors who have literally never acted professionally before and the film “introducing” them is their first work, period. But whatever, what do I know about the film industry, right? Other actors include Theo Rossi (TV show SONS OF ANARCHY and the upcoming Marvel-Netflix series LUKE CAGE) and Michael Kenneth Williams (this year’s TRIPLE 9 and GHOSTBUSTERS, and TV show BOARDWALK EMPIRE).
Now for the crew. Directing is Jon Cassar, whom is primarily known for directing TV shows, such as the ever popular 24, TERRA NOVA, and THE KENNEDYS. Not a lot of movies under his belt, with the exception of FORSAKEN (2015), starring both Kiefer and Donald Sutherland. Writing is Jack Olsen. Fresh as can be. This is his first screenplay. He may have another coming up, but his career might end there if these early ratings are any indication. Composing the music is John Frizzel, known for composing for TV shows like THE FOLLOWING and THE SECRET CIRCLE, and films like LEGION (2010) and GODS AND GENERALS (2003). Finally, the cinematographer is David Moxness. Also mostly works on TV shows like GRACELAND, REVOLUTION, and FRINGE.
Yeah, I’m dreading this viewing, but here I am because I’m a glutton for punishment. This is my honest opinion of WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS.
John and Laura Taylor (Morris Chestnut and Regina Hall respectively) are a happily married couple. Well… sort of. They’ve tried to have kids, but to no avail. Seeking a surrogate mother, they find the young Anna Walsh (Jaz Sinclair), who seems genuine about making a difference in someone’s life. After meeting the girl with her boyfriend Mike (Theo Rossi), they soon find out that Mike isn’t quite the best of boyfriends. In fact, he physically abuses her. When the Taylors find out, Mike is arrested and Anna is offered to stay with the Taylors. But this soon becomes a regretful situation as Anna develops a lust for John and slowly tries to break him up with Laura, or she might not give them the baby.
Oh thank Christ, I didn’t pay for this movie. Where do I even begin? This might honestly be an incredibly short review. It’s bad, it’s really bad, and I’m struggling to figure out what to talk about specifically.
Let’s start with the acting. It’s not bad, but do you know why? They’re so phoned in, it’s like… it’s like… dear God, I can’t even come up with a good analogy. See what this damn movie does to me? Because it doesn’t have any imagination, I can’t be imaginative either! Anyway, due to the characters being so horrendously bland, the acting is unbearably stale. Not only do you forget anything about the characters as you leave the auditorium, but you forget who they are as a scene ends, it’s that bad.
The predictability is off the scale. What scale am I talking about? The one that should be invented to measure just how pathetically easy it is to see where something is going. Even if you didn’t watch the trailer, the way the camera ominously zooms in, the way it focuses on a character’s expression, it is bafflingly stupid how anyone can figure out this movie. The moment you can tell that Anna lusts for John, you know exactly that it’s going to lead to the most dramatic and obvious climax.
And what’s there to invest in? Everyone in this movie ranges from psychotic to downright idiotic. Should I invest in John? No, because when Anna starts doing things that cross the line, like sending him vids of her in her bra and panties (with “baby” confusingly written across her stomach), does he tell his wife? No, he decides to have her face consequences so severe, it rattles the very fabric of cinematic storytelling that will be analyzed for generations… he does absolutely nothing! Bum bum BUUUUM!!! Not even kidding, he comes home, tries to chastise her, but then she puts on her weepy eyes and suddenly all is essentially forgiven. Should I feel bad for Anna? Obviously not, she essentially kidnaps the baby and tries to ruin the marriage, but the ultimate failure of the character is giving her this side story of abuse from her boyfriend… which, as you can imagine, has nothing to do with her pregnancy and desires to have John to herself. None of this abuse plays a role in her character later on. I suppose someone out there could argue that when she’s had enough of Mike’s shit and kills him, that was her event horizon and what really sets her down this path of psychotic behavior. But that’s… incredibly thin logic to the point where it doesn’t matter. It’s not like anyone can relate to anyone here. Should I care about Laura? I suppose I should, since she’s never in a position to make bad decisions, but dear God, it’s hard to care about people that have little to no personality.
I… I got nothing else. The writing’s awful, the acting is flat-lined, don’t see this movie. I would say that the movie doesn’t insult me, but the fact that this is such a recycled story from movies that get churned out year after year, with little to no variation, this movie is clearly here to grab a specific demographic and manipulate them into spending money that they could use for something else. Considering that it broke even, raking in 15 million dollars against it’s 13-ish million budget, it technically made a profit, so I guess this formula’s doing something right. But you can’t have my money, movie. *middle finger*
My honest rating for WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS: 1/5
- WILD LIFE:
- trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNCjU9VEuNc