The Gift (2015)
written and directed by Joel Edgerton
For a while this revenge thriller – about a man (Joel Edgerton) who, years after being horribly bullied in high school, comes up with a plan to get even with his tormentor (Jason Bateman) – is efficiently creepy. First-time director Edgerton has fun with the idea of the past literally coming back to haunt you; what if someone you made fun of as a kid insinuated himself back into your life… and perhaps even gained the trust of others around you? However, the more The Gift develops, the more it suffers from Edgerton doing double duty as the antagonist – he just does not bring enough menace or complexity to the character. Worse, the whole thing builds to a final climax that’s way too convoluted to come full circle.
If anything, watch it for Bateman’s pitch perfect performance as an arrogant douche with no scruples. I am sure guys like that exist. And I never want to meet them.
Carlos I. Cuevas