There is a narrow margin between a film being great and distinctively average. Some of it is down to expectation. If you go into a movie cold, without any preconceptions, it can make such a difference to your experience. This tends to work best with films featuring lesser know actors from countries other than in your sphere of viewing. So, going into Impossible Crimes with only the bare bones of a synopsis, the film had every chance to shine. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a disappointment.
A one-two blow defines the future of Lorenzo. First, he loses his sister in a battle against illness. If this was not hard enough to take the budding writer is faced with another tragedy soon after when his wife and daughter are killed in a car accident of his making. From this, the film jumps several years where he has given up on writing and is now a driven and very successful Police detective. His clear-up rate is so good that he is given a case that, on the surface, appears to be unsolvable. While investigating he comes across other deaths that fall into the category of mysterious as they all are done in locked rooms and particularly brutal. When a novitiate confesses to the crimes, Lorenzo is torn between the authenticity of her description and the fact that she was several hundred miles away at the time.
The film struggles to get going right from the start. The first scene is the death of the sister. It is a cold opening and it doesn’t really give any indication of what is going on. Cinema is a medium that show don’t tell is ideal but that only works if it pays off within the story. From here there is an abrupt jump to the second death. This is a lumpen scene that does the opposite of the first scene. There are elements highlighted that are certain the become important later and in doing it in such a blatant way it takes the audience out of the story. It doesn’t help that there are a couple of lingering shots on objects, symbology and background characters that feel out of place. When the film again jumps forward in time to the main story there is a disconnect due to the muddled opening.
Unfortunately, it is all too easy to figure out where the story is going and this hurts the film. In theory, it is a sound idea, one that has been used before. Here it is a bit too heavy-handed in its execution. Most of this is down to the screenplay and the lack of development of the primary characters. The character of Lorenzo is one note. He can only be the angry cop for so long without it getting old. Yes, he is the best at what he does but alas there is little to suggest that he is a character that is interesting in any way. As he is the viewer’s guide it makes for an uneventful watch.
The horror elements are all too standard with nothing to make it stand out from multiple other movies vying for your attention. There are obvious budget limitations at play but a little experimentation and innovation go a long way in entertaining audiences. To describe some of the elements would spoil aspects of the film but rest assured you will have seen all of this before.