[OutVoice] Review of "The Innocent Killers" (2008)

TheChorusBoy at aol.com TheChorusBoy at aol.com
Mon Oct 27 01:52:27 EDT 2008

Review by NIC  BROWN 
Read it  online: 
How does a business man  go from zero to building a Fortune 100 company in 
just ten years? For Collin Donovan (Craig Rainey), founder of  Donovan 
Enterprises, the answer is that you don’t play by the rules and if you  have a problem 
you eliminate it. To that end Donovan has assembled a group of  seven “special 
operatives” called The Innocent Killers. The film THE INNOCENT  KILLERS is 
the first installment of writer/director Brett Mauser’s INNOCENCE  SAGA, a ten 
part series that will be released one film at a time over the next  two years.  
THE INNOCENT KILLERS,  while able to exist as a stand alone film on many 
levels, is clearly part of a  series. The film opens with a pair of San  Antonio 
police detectives, Mike Lorenzo  (Brett Mauser, who acts in the film as well) 
and his partner Diane Loveland  (Ryan Harris), dealing with an informant who 
seems to have gone crazy and taken  a hostage. It turns out the informant is 
only trying to stay alive and figures  being surrounded by cops is the way to do 
it. What’s got him that scared? He’s  come into possession of an antique coin 
and he warns the detectives that  everyone who has the coin ends up dead, and 
that respected businessman Collin  Donovan is somehow involved.            
With the coin now in  a police evidence locker it might seem that would be 
the end, but Donovan is  after the coin and he sends his Innocent Killers to 
take it from the police. The  coin is retrieved for Donovan, but in the process 
most of the Innocent Killers  team is killed along with many more police, 
including Mike’s partner Diane. Now  the story follows a convoluted path as Mike 
seeks to bring the seemingly  untouchable Donovan to justice and Donovan’s plans 
begin to make themselves  clear.  
If THE INNOCENT KILLERS  were not part one of a much larger series, then the 
complex plot and numerous  characters that are introduced would make the film 
difficult to watch. However,  Mauser makes it clear from the start that this 
is just one part of a much larger  story, so the viewer is left to trust that 
things will make more sense as the  story progresses. Having seen the second 
film in the series, THE SHADOW RISING,  it is evident that is the case.  
Mauser has done an  impressive feat. Just getting ten films made is an 
accomplishment many  independent filmmakers only dream of. Mauser didn’t only make 
ten films; he  completed principal photography and much of the post-production 
in one year.  This means that all of the films to be released within the next 
few years.  Despite the rushed schedule presented by this endeavor and the 
budgetary  limitations that go hand in hand with most independent film projects, 
THE  INNOCENT KILLERS is a solid action film filled with interesting 
characters and  an impressive amount of action.  While most of the acting is well done, 
sometimes the dialogue drags and  the audience must remind themselves that 
there is more to the story than just  this film, so some events are not 
explained right away and will only make sense  when the rest of films are added in.  
On the plus side for the  film, many of the actors stand out in their roles. 
Most noteworthy were Matthew  Jasso and Jade Esteban Estrada. Jasso’s 
portrayal of Joey Pantinelli, one  of the killers, is impressive, especially as the 
character’s views of loyalty  and honor are challenged by events. Estrada’s 
performance as Jax is worth  noting for the way he steals the show in almost 
every scene he’s in as he brings  an outrageous mix of ruthlessness and campiness 
together to create possibly the  most memorable of the film’s characters.      
THE INNOCENT KILLERS has  good action, interesting characters, and a story 
that is compelling despite, or  possibly because of, its complexity. So if you 
have the opportunity, check out  Brett Mauser’s THE INNOCENT KILLERS, but be 
sure you bring a score card - you  may need it to keep up.  
Learn  more about the INNOCENCE SAGA by visiting 
_www.Ponderousproductions.com_ (http://www.ponderousproductions.com/)   
Pick  up your copy at amazon.com here:  
_www.getjaded.com_ (http://www.getjaded.com/)  

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