Body Brokers

Body Brokers
Body Brokers

Body Brokers

“Body Brokers” tells the sort of story that ought to depart you quaking with anger afterwards. As a substitute, viewers will come away with extra annoyance on the film than outrage over what it’s making an attempt to say. To make the frustration even worse, the movie from author/director John Swab has simply sufficient going for it to maintain you watching, with more and more useless hope that it’d lastly begin to click on.

Utah (Jack Kilmer) and Opal (Alice Englert) are two younger junkies residing on the streets of a small Ohio city, robbing comfort stores and hooking to be able to fund their habits. Sooner or later, whereas hanging out, they meet Wood (Michael Kenneth Williams), a man who acknowledges their life-style all too nicely, buys them lunch, and presents to assist them get right into a remedy program in order that they will clear up their lives as he himself did a number of years earlier. Opal instantly spurns the supply however Utah, who has been having second ideas in regards to the life he has been residing, agrees to offer it a shot. Wood flies him out to Los Angeles and will get him right into a rehab heart. With the assistance of a counsellor (Melissa Leo) and the assist of aide Could (Jessica Rothe), he begins the sluggish street to restoration.

Inspiring sufficient, I suppose, however throughout this story of restoration the movie’s actual story slowly takes form. At sure factors, a narrator (Frank Grillo) cuts in to tell viewers that the rehab business, as the results of ACA provisions, has boomed in recent times—pulling in additional than $12 million {dollars} a yr within the Southern California space alone. A brand new breed of rip-off artist has arrived on the scene to seize as a lot of that cash as potential by getting sufferers into the beds at rehab clinics by any means essential the place their insurance coverage could be billed for outrageous prices ($2,000 for a easy urine take a look at) that they, and generally the sufferers themselves, will obtain kickbacks on. Wood is one among these so-called “Body brokers” and brings the recovered Utah into the sport. After some preliminary trepidation, Utah shortly falls in and is quickly cheerfully driving van a great deal of addicts over to an unscrupulous physician (Peter Greene) to obtain implants of a medically doubtful however extremely billable nature. Utah then begins to have second ideas about what he’s doing however by that point, it might be too late for him to get out clear, so to talk.

That is the sort of muckraking thriller that Steven Soderbergh might do in his sleep by peeling again the curtains whereas on the identical time sustaining the human drama. However whereas the premise right here is attention-grabbing sufficient, our hero is decidedly much less so. And as soon as the story turns into much less keen on unveiling systemic institutional abuse, and it merely focuses extra on his journey to the darkish facet and again. We have seen all of this many instances earlier than. The movie’s ending is an excellent greater downside, because it tries to land on a darkly lifelike observe however which proves to be too abrupt and unsatisfying for its personal good.

And but whereas “Body Brokers” by no means fairly comes collectively, it does have sufficient issues going for it. Michael Kenneth Williams is kind of good as Utah’s information to the seamy facet of the restoration enterprise, one which encompasses the whole lot from basically promoting sufferers to the highest-bidding rehab heart to digging holes for individuals who get out of line alongside the best way. Frank Grillo can be entertaining as he delivers his sardonic narration and turns up on digicam as nicely in a task that I’ll depart so that you can uncover. And though neither one will get a lot to do, Jessica Rothe and Melissa Leo each do sturdy work as those that characterize the non-exploitative facet of the rehabilitation world. The movie’s most memorable efficiency comes from veteran character actor Peter Greene—he’s sensational in a quick flip as a cadaverous-looking physician who’s in on one of many scams till he makes the error of getting grasping.

There are a variety of sturdy particular person scenes in “Body Brokers” (the one through which Utah is led to a 12-step-meeting—the sort of restoration remedy the movie wholeheartedly endorses—is particularly good.) The difficulty is that the narrative simply isn’t attention-grabbing sufficient to stay as much as the premise and it will get weaker the extra it descends additional into standard melodrama. (A scene the place Utah revisits the comfort retailer he helped rob within the opening scene is such a groaner that you just wish to delete it proper there after which.) “Body Brokers” was clearly made with good intentions, however whereas it’d nonetheless fill you with anger in direction of the predatory points of the rehabilitation business, you will even be upset that the script just isn’t practically as nice because it might have been.