Penthouse North Blu Ray review

Michael KeatonWhat’s It About? New Year’s Eve in New York City and it’s party time as everyone waits for the ball to drop. Everyone except Hollander (Michael Keaton), who has a different party in mind. Blinded years earlier, Sara (Michelle Monaghan) is alone in her apartment with no idea her boyfriend is a thief. Soon Hollander and his partner force their way into Sara’s apartment doing whatever it takes to find what they are looking for. Sara must fight for her life as it’s kill or be killed.

Verdict: A thriller needs to be finely crafted on all levels of the storyline, but Penthouse North suffers on so many of the smaller parts that when it all comes together it creates a mess of a home invasion movie. It’s a flimsy story that’s never fully reconciled for us to truly understand. Items relevant to the story are hinted at throughout the film but never enough for note and what should be gleamed from seeing a brief moment of a proponent or two that no one really cares about. These moments have been included to give the film re-watch value, to show what was there but missed on the first viewing, but frankly they never click and the thought of a re-watch is terrifying. The implausible, and frankly, embarrassing back story for Sara highlights what lack of real story telling there is in the script.

Penthouse-NorthBoth Keaton and Monaghan have excellent credits in this film genre (Pacific Heights and Gone Baby Gone), also director Joseph Ruben made the fantastic psychological Sleeping With The Enemy. But none of them seem comfortable with the truly woeful script. Monaghan seems lost as a poorly written female victim with little acting apart from some running and the occasional scream. Her blind acting is limited to some head wobbling and staring down a lot, Al Pacino in Scent Of A Woman this is not. Keaton tries to play the sophisticated psycho but struggles with underdeveloped motives and some dreadful dialogue that hinders him breaking free to go a little crazy. Michael is better than this and it’s a shame to see him wallow in such rubbish.

Final Words:  Penthouse North suffers plot holes, clichés and poorly written dialogue that create a predictable dull home invasion movie. The two stars go through the motions as best they can, but this film will do neither of them any good. Hitchcock, the master of the modern era thriller, will be spinning in his grave at such an unremarkable and forgetful movie.

Rating: 2 / 5      

Penthouse North is released on DVD and Blu-ray on 3 February 2014.