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Cast: Rebecca Romijn, Sebastian Roché, Tobin Bell, Luke Kleintank Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Brothers Samuel (Brodie-Sangster) and Beckett Emerson (Kleintank) are barely scraping by. Their father, Warren (Roché), continues to gamble and drink away any money they bring home. With all the havoc that is constantly going on in their lives, the family members each find solace in his own way, through Shakespeare, comic books and impossible love affairs. Beckett seizes the opportunity to make some easy money by counterfeiting in hopes of repaying his father's debts. When Beckett's plan goes awry, the family must decide what's most important or pay the ultimate price.
"Phantom Halo" tells the story of brothers Samuel and Beckett and their deadbeat dad Warren who teaches Samuel how to be a street performer who recites Shakespeare while his brother Beckett robs the unsuspecting crowd blind by lifting wallets from men and women alike. The problem is their dad takes all the money and uses it to gamble and drink so they never have any money for food or rent. But their problems get much bigger when they find out their dad owes a lot of money to a very dangerous loan shark. Desperate, Beckett gets involved in making counterfeit money with an old acquaintance but things go horribly wrong putting all their lives in grave danger.
At first I wasn't sure what to make of this crime/drama. The film certainly approaches the genre a bit differently with its Shakespeare/pick pocket scheme and the comic book bit tossed in but I was not sure where it was all going. luckily the film settles in and the story gets better as it moves along. It also does a good job of creating a high level of suspense during its climax.
Did I like the film? Yes, I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would. Granted it is not a game changer but I am sure it was never intended to be one. I did like the story and I even enjoyed the comic book world that Samuel gets caught up it to escape the madness his father has created.
But even with all that I still would have only given it a little above average score but it gets a little extra boost because of the excellent cast. Luke Kleintank and Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Beckett and Samuel are reason enough to check the film out but the rest of the cast members are just as impressive. I also give credit to Director, Antonia Bogdanovich who also co-wrote the script with Anne Heffron. The story itself could have used a little cleaning up but I liked that they brought some new ideas with them. This is a very impressive feature film debut for Antonia. I am a big fan of seeing more women behind the camera and I look forward to seeing what this talented film maker comes up with next.
"Phantom Halo" is not a perfect film, it has its flaws but it makes up for them in numerous other ways. I liked the film a lot and I recommend it to anyone that likes a good crime drama.
Available on DVD now, You can order it HERE.
Released by ARC Entertainment
*** 1/2 Out Of *****