Detective Galban, finds his partner and close friend, Detective Cullen, murdered in an underground subway. On the hunt for the killer, Galban begins to suspect his partner may have been heavily involved in drug dealing and police corruption. As Galban investigates, people who knew Cullen, are conveniently found dead. The closer Galban gets his Lieutenant tries to persuade him to back off, fearing his findings may discredit Cullen and expose corruption within the Police Department. Galban’s only remaining lead is Isabel, a young, devout, Latino girl, who resides with her in-laws.
“You know, he was very dirty.
And, unfortunately, his dirt caught up with him.
But at least his wife will get his full pension.
Now, the more you dig the more you risk screwing up that pension for his wife and kids.
And I don’t think you want that on your conscience.”
“Exposed” isn’t really a complicated movie. It just all seems quite arty and metaphysical. Throughout the film you ask yourself what in God’s name is going on. What’s the meaning of those appearances? How do the different storylines correlate? It started intriguing and mysterious at first, but gradually the whole film bogged down into a painfully slow psychological drama with not much to be seen. Several themes are intertwined with one another in an attempt to trick you and provide a surprising denouement. “Exposed” first looks like a typical crime film with the murder of a police detective. Then the second story is introduced, starring a deeply religious woman who’s staying in such high spheres that angelic apparitions become part of her daily life. But in the background other tragic events are simmering with abuse as a base. Ultimately it results in a psychological thriller where a confused human psyche could be the cause. Surprising? Yes. But at that time, it was a bit too much.
This movie won’t make you really cheerful. Sadness is omnipresent. There’s detective Galban (Keanu Reeves), who looks sad the whole movie. That isn’t surprising. First he lost his wife and now his partner. And it seems that Galban’s partner Joey surely wasn’t a saint. On the contrary, totally corrupt. That’s why Galban’s investigation is being thwarted because one fears that the reputation of the department would be harmed. And also Joey’s pension could well become compromised. Something Joey’s wife Janine (Miro Sorvino) is entitled to. Next there’s the Cuban girl Isabel (Ana de Armas), whose devout attitude is admirable on the one hand and on the other disturbing. The visions that she has, cause confusion. Are they the result of intensive religiosity? Or are they delusions which are the result of deep-rooted psychological injuries? As a kindergarten teacher she makes a connection with the lovely girl Elisa (Venus Ariel). This little girl also suffers from a not so ideal family situation. As you can see, it is all doom and gloom.
Reeves wasn’t so bad in “47 Ronin“. And he was stunning in “John Wick“. This dark thriller lends itself well to a figure like Reeves. That sad look. The indifference and numbness. And then there’s a sudden personality change, after which he beats up someone while his child is watching. Unfortunately this sad, hopeless expression on Reeves face started to irritate. The acting wasn’t really awful, but it also wasn’t something to brag about. Ana de Armas acted much better. But even her magnificent performance, couldn’t save this film.
“Exposed” is a mess with a confusing story. And not just because of the content. The whole film is edited confusingly. It jumps from one subject to another. A movie which is overloaded with symbolism. And I guess the makers had a hard time to choose from several ideas. What remains is an incorrect balance between realism and surrealism. It tries to mix the profound subject of religion with crime, corruption and sexual abuse. A blatantly failed attempt resulting in a boring film with no precise objective as a final result. And those angels also looked terrible. As if they were strayed and foolish persons who just returned from carnival in Rio.