Crossed (2009) – By Duane L. Martin

Frank Archer (Christopher J. Otis) is the son of a hit man who was gunned down by an assailant known only to a local crime boss named Borriello (Henry Borriello).  Borriello has promised to tell Frank who killed his father, but Frank has to work for him has a hit man, knocking off everyone Borriello sends him after until he thinks Frank is ready to hear the truth.  Unfortunately, the truth has been staring Frank in the face for a very long time.  Even more unfortunately, a misdirection leads to Frank crossing paths with another cold blooded killer known only as "The Ripper" (Javier Rodriguez), who may just turn out to be more friend than foe.  Crossed is a film about a burning desire for revenge, and how that desire can consume you.

Crossed, for me, was a very mixed bag.  On the one hand, the dialogue acting was horrible.  I’m sorry, but not to put too fine of a point on it, it was bad.  The dialogue on almost everyone’s part sounded "written and recited".  There was no naturalness to it at all, and written dialogue is vastly different from normal, spoken dialogue.  The actors in this film were all reciting "written" dialogue, and it just came off bad, and at times, rather cheesy.  The scenes that were more dialogue heavy became tedious at best, and painful at worst.  That and the fact that the film was too long for the story and felt like it was dragging at times are my two big complaints about the film, so I wanted to get those out of the way before I moved on to what’s good about it.

Oddly enough, one of the things that was great about this film was the acting.  No, not the dialogue part, the action part.  Chris, Henry and Javier are all phenomenally talented actors when it comes to hard core brutality.  These guys all handed the fight choreography like true professionals and the action scenes were not only amazingly fast and blindingly violent, but they were incredibly well shot and edited.  The action scenes and violence are where this film really shines.  The talent displayed by the actors and by director Stolis Hadjicharalambous (jeez, I hope he didn’t pay for that name by the letter 😛 ) are like a master class on how incredible action scenes can be done in independent cinema when you have the right talent both in front of and behind the camera.

The film wasn’t just shot well in the action sequences, it was actually a really nicely produced film throughout, and the editing was well done and kept the movie moving along at a good pace for the most part.  As I said above though, there were some elements of the film that made it run too long and really weren’t all that important to the story that could have been cut to tighten things up.

So yes, Crossed is sort of a mixed bag, but in the end, the action sequences alone make this film worth seeing.  I can’t stress enough what a great job everyone involved did with that aspect of the film.  It’s definitely worth your time to check it out.

If you’d like to find out more about Crossed, you can check out the film’s website at http://www.crossedfilm.com.