Reroute: Movie Review

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"Reroute" could have and should have been great. The foreboding sense of doom was unrelenting from first minute to last. Its cinematography was stunning and beautiful to look at and it had outstanding performances from most of its cast. But the film lacked execution in terms of developing its story and characters as we found ourselves short-changed and frustrated as the film squandered a wonderful opportunity.
Dan and his wife are on their way to Dan's hometown in Morinda. Along the way, a police checkpoint prevents them from proceeding along the main highway. Already running late, Dan decides to reroute to a deserted road which he believes is a shortcut. But their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and a strange and unsettling man, Gemo, offers them help. Desperate, the two have no choice but to accept Gemo's advances. 
The first few scenes of "Reroute" introduces us to two of its leads. A couple who seemingly have their relationship on the rocks with Dan (played by Sid Lucero) coming off as an abusive son of a gun. You would expect the film to show us more from these characters but we're actually left with that basic tidbit. Such was the case for the other characters from the film. May it be the crazy Gemo (played by John Arcilla) or his quiet wife Lala (played by Natalie Hart) - we don't get anything substantial for their backstories or characters. Did Dan really do what Gemo accused him? Was Gemo an abusive father to his daughter? Who owns the private property? Why are the other villagers helping Gemo in the first place? These are stuff that should have been tackled by the film but failed to do so.  It just presents its characters as-is and nothing more.
This lack of proper writing impacted the whole experience severely. Turning it into an unsatisfying experience especially in its second half when it became obvious that the film won't be able to explain anything. In fact, the sudden shift in tone was dramatic as soon as Gemo was able to do the deed he was planning to do with the couple. But let us give due where the film shines. The most obvious of these would be its cinematography. It would be easy to conclude its striking because it was done in black and white but honestly, that's only scratching the surface. Director Lawrence Fajardo employed various technical shots and angles that really impressed us. Additionally, the film definitely had outstanding acting unsurprisingly with John Arcilla leading the way and  Sid Lucero a close second. Nathalie Hart surprised us most but Cindy Miranda fell a little bit short in terms of her dramatic chops. Overall, "Reroute" would have been memorable if more time and effort was put into its narrative. Its average performance was extremely disappointing considering you could see where it could have headed to.
Rating: 2 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- its visuals and soundtrack works wonders to make this stressful and tense-filled most of the way
- John Arcilla and Sid Lucero carry the brunt of the acting excellence

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- we barely got to know our characters' backstories and motivations