Utilizing flashbacks to fill in the holes as well as painful foreshadowing that leaves nothing to chance, Kyle Ham's Reparation proves that the devil truly does lie within the details.
A small-town farmer with a three-year hole in his memory, Bob Stevens has come to terms with his situation and is living peacefully with his wife and eight-year-old daughter Charlotte. But their peaceful existence is about to be shaken up when Jerome, a man claiming to be Bob's best friend from the Air Force Police, shows up.
The story, at its core, doesn't offer up much in the form of originality. Ham works hard to drop clues along the way so that we, as viewers, can piece together the events leading up to Stevens' accident. But the subtle hints are far too obvious, and the ultimate reveal is easily thwarted as a result.
Additionally, Ham doesn't respect Stevens as a character. Having just gone through a rather intense memory loss, you can expect our protagonist to be a bit uneasy and confused, especially right after he is reintroduced into the world. But when we witness his demeanor during his military days it is hard to ignore the radical transformation that he has gone through.
Absent is the confident, authoritative figure that moved up the military ladder at lightening pace; in its place stands a sluggish, lax and somewhat fragile man who seems to not fully understand himself or those around him. The two are miles apart, not mention to brain damage, buying them as a single character is a far stretch and brings an unfortunate question of authenticity to the overall film.
Granted Ham didn't get much help from his cast. Marc Menchaca, who portrays Stevens, does fine in the role; however, he is hardly strong enough to hold the entire film on his shoulders. Lackluster supporting work from both Jon Huertas and Virginia Newcomb (as Jerome and Stevens' wife Lucy respectively) prevents the story from lifting off the page, keeping it one-dimensional and a bit stagnate.
That isn't to say that their roles, when looked at individually, aren't decent. But the chemistry just isn't there. Combine that with some unfortunate dialogue and a conclusion that couldn't come soon enough, and Reparation isn't as good as it could (and should) have been. Blame the execution or its individual parts"¦but it just doesn't cut it.