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USA 2014
Directed by
Jean-Baptiste Leonetti
95 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars

Beyond The Reach

There are some worthy movies in which corporate villains get their come-uppance. Richard Gere in Arbitrage comes to mind and, of course, Michel Douglas as Gordon Gekko in Wall Street – Money Never Sleeps. Beyond The Reach is in principle the same sort of deal but set under the blistering sun of the Mojave Desert with lots of lethal weaponry.

Douglas, who is looking even more like his father as he gets older, plays Madec (a characteristically unsubtle reference to Bernie Madoff), an extremely wealthy entrepreneur who hires Ben (Jeremy Irvine) to take him hunting for a Bighorn, a kind of wild sheep inhabiting the reaches of New Mexico, to fill a hole on his trophy wall. It is established from the outset that Madec is an arsehole and the pair haven’t gone very far before he has shot dead an old geezer who is, in a remarkable coincidence, a friend of Ben. Madec wants Ben to help him cover up the killing and when his employee doesn’t play ball the bat-crazy moneybags decides that under the circumstances, Ben’s got to go.

The film was co-produced by Douglas but why is far from clear.  The hunt-a-human plot is ridiculous with Madec, a crack shot armed with a high-powered rifle, dynamite and the finest hunting equipage known to man unable to knock off the bare-footed, sun-scorched Ben who eventually takes him down in a literal David and Goliath scenario.

The protracted nonsense gives Douglas the opportunity to do an on-cue out-of-control routine such as he’s done many times since The War Of The Roses (1989) whilst the commentary on corporate ruthlessness and gross venality is simply window dressing. Rubbing salt into the wounds, Douglas's hair keeps changing, now up, now down, from shot to shot.  Beyond The Reach is essentially a pastiche of other similar films, some better but most of them just as routine.




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