Plot: What’s it about?
Paul (Kevin Zegers) is not a bad person, as he loves his family, went to school to better himself, and tries to find employment to help his family out of trying financial times. But his luck just won’t turn around. He is in extensive debt from his student loans, he can’t find work anywhere, and as if the normal bills weren’t enough, his mother’s medication is insanely expensive. As pressure mounts on Paul from all sides, all he wants to do is take care of his family and provide a better life for them. Pushed to the brink, Paul decides to resort to illegal means in order to keep his family’s home out of foreclosure and his mother in good health. He plans to kidnap the children of three wealthy men, then use the ransom to get his family’s finances back on track. He enlists the help of two of his friends and they are able to abduct the children, so now the wait begins. But as time passes and things don’t go as smoothly as planned, can Paul complete his plot or has he only condemned his family to another tragedy?
The premise of a good person doing a bad thing out of desperation isn’t a new one, so could The Entitled manage to stand out from the crowd? The story unfolds from the perspectives of the kidnappers, the hostages, and the fathers of the hostages, so we learn a lot about everyone involved. This opens the door for a more emotional connection, since we’re acquainted with all involved, but the writing seems to drop off in that respect. I liked the Paul character, but almost everyone else seems to be obvious plot pawns, not well developed characters. This causes a loss in tension, as we don’t really care about most of them, as well as an overall lack of investment in the premise. The plot pushes the characters into turns that seem forced also, as if it was more important to have a twist than to flesh out the characters. The film’s conclusion is passable, but could have been so much more, if only the writing hadn’t been so problematic. The Entitled isn’t a good movie, but the potential for one is locked in there somewhere. I think those interested would be best served with a rental.
Video: How does it look?
The Entitled is presented in 2.40:1 widescreen. I wasn’t that impressed with the visuals here either, as the image is much softer than I anticipated. I haven’t seen the standard version to compare, but this transfer looks quite soft and doesn’t show nearly the kind of depth we expect from high definition. I blame the source however, as it is evident that little to no DNR is present, which means the transfer process was not at fault. The movie is still watchable of course, but this looks more like a DVD than a Blu-ray, which is a let down.
Audio: How does it sound?
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack proves to be the best part of this release. The mix is able to keep the film’s tension as palpable as it can, thanks to some good surround presence. There is also some power however, so it isn’t all just subtle touches with this presentation. I found dialogue to be clear and the music has good presence as well, so while not a demo level mix, this sounds much better than expected. This disc also includes a Spanish language track, as well as English and Spanish subtitles.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes an alternate end sequence, as well as a brief behind the scenes featurette.