BREAKING POINT


Director: Jeff Celentano
Writer: Vincent Campanella
Cast: Tom Berenger, Busta Rhymes, Armand Assante, Frankie Faison and Sticky Fingaz
Release Date: 12/04/09

“Breaking Point” is a dramatic tale of corruption and self-realization, in which one man has to overcome a deep seeded conspiracy and his own lingering past in order to gain the redemption he desires. Steven Luisi (Tom Berenger), a once prominent criminal defense attorney is attempting to come back to the profession after a struggle with drug addiction and a family tragedy. Steven stumbles into a complex, high profile murder case. Against his better judgment, he takes on the case that will eventually lead him down a path that brings him face to face with his own demons.

Tom Berenger does a decent job as Steven Luisi. But, his reasons for being spurred back into action when he stumbles onto a high-profile murder case are a little cliche. As he tries to bring down his former dealer, a murderous gangster (Rhymes) who, as we see in the arresting opening scene, has no qualms about throwing an uncooperative hooker’s infant baby out a window to his certain death. You’re left wondering if you’re watching a pseudo sequel to “New Jack City”.

The film, which is loosely based on the life of its writer and co-producer Vince Campanella, mirrors the redemption felt by all the creative partners now that film fans can finally see the fruits of their labor. They have already begun to work on their next film projects, but for now, they can all just reflect on what they accomplished. Unfortunately, by spreading around the story “Crash” style, Campanella doesn’t sufficiently explore Luisi’s complex character, relying on flashbacks, exposition and Berenger’s best efforts to flesh out the potentially intriguing central role.

If you know a young thug in your life, they might enjoy the modern take on the gangsta. But, it’s a little tired and boring for long-time crime film fans. What you’ve got is something Taylor Hackford might’ve done on a whim roughly twenty years ago. Now, it just feels like the kind of movie that Spike would air. If you get the chance, pick it up on DVD.

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