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Movie Review: “Art of Deception”- A Flawed Yet Promising Indie Action Thriller”



Director Richard Ryan‘s “Art of Deception” plunges viewers into a world of espionage, betrayal, and high-stakes action. However, while the film boasts a compelling premise and some commendable elements, it ultimately falls short of its full potential.

The story centres around Joseph Markham (played by director Richard Ryan himself), a scientist entangled in a nefarious organization’s plot for global dominance through mind control. When Joseph and his wife Valentina (played by Jackie Nova) are targeted by the organization, they must navigate a perilous path to save themselves and prevent catastrophe.

From the outset, Ryan‘s portrayal of Joseph Markham as a suave and loving husband throws you off a bit about what to expect from the lead of this film. But you soon realize that he is more than skilled and equipped to handle dangerous situations.

His chemistry with Nova‘s Valentina adds depth to their characters, especially as their past as special ops operatives is revealed, adding layers to their motivations and their capabilities to deal with the adversary they are faced with.

The film wastes no time in diving into the heart of the action, delivering a fast-paced narrative designed to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. Nova impresses with her adeptness in the action scenes, further enhancing the film’s entertainment value.

However, despite its promising premise and energetic pacing, “Art of Deception” suffers from shortcomings in its execution. The overall acting feels somewhat lacklustre, with dialogue occasionally falling flat and performances failing to fully capture the intensity of the situations.

The henchmen, in particular, appear awkward in their delivery, struggling to align with the intended atmosphere of the scenes, even when their lines are minimal and straightforward.

Moreover, the plot follows a predictable trajectory for much of its runtime, lacking the surprises and twists that could elevate it to a higher standard. The climax, while building decently, ultimately feels somewhat unsatisfactory, failing to deliver the payoff one might expect.

Visually, the film exhibits a nostalgic charm reminiscent of early 2000s action thrillers, complete with props that firmly place it within that era. While this aesthetic may appeal to some viewers, it also contributes to the film’s overall dated feel. 

Yet, “Art of Deception” manages to redeem itself with its well-executed action sequences and occasional moments of narrative creativity. 

Director Ryan also demonstrates a touch of creativity in the narrative, notably in a scene portraying an out-of-body, dreamlike experience for Joseph as he recuperates from injuries sustained while escaping danger. This sequence offers viewers a glimpse into Joseph’s inner thoughts, revealing his peaceful aspirations and the life he once embraced, now disrupted by the perilous circumstances he faces.

Despite its flaws, “Art of Deception” presents a commendable effort from an indie filmmaker striving to make their mark in the genre. Themes of loyalty, betrayal, sacrifice, and the power of love are explored with sincerity, offering moments of genuine emotional resonance amidst the adrenaline-fueled action.

In conclusion, while “Art of Deception” may not rank among the top recommendations for action thriller enthusiasts, it nevertheless showcases the promise and dedication of its creator. 

I will score this film 5/10. With tighter execution and a more polished approach, Richard Ryan’s vision could undoubtedly yield more compelling cinematic experiences in the future.

Second on my list of addictions is Movies.. the only thing I could possibly love more is my Dearest Waakye lol. Nothing else does a better job of reminding me that ANYTHING is possible with the right amount of effort. I have great eye for details and flaws in scripts. Shallow scripts bore me. I am an avid reader. Your everyday Mr Nice guy. Always the last to speak in a room full of smart people. Half Human, half Martian but full MOVIE FREAK.

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