Reviews: Hidden Agenda

Sarah turns in a review of upcoming indie flick, Hidden Agenda

"What are you looking at, punk?"
Ahhhhh.  A gritty detective drama that will hopefully quell all of our burning, unanswered questions that Dexter left us with.  But semi-unfortunately for us, Hidden Agenda, directed by Aaron Wilson, isn't the savior that we were looking for to tie up those loose ends.  A mish-mash of plot points, each centering around equally stale main characters, painfully one-sided and without any prophetic “light at the end of the tunnel”, Hidden Agenda spends an hour and a half playing cerebral Pong without the satisfaction of clutching a win at the end of the game.

A fairly routine storyline of good cop-good cop – just doin' their jobs, ma'am, where Detective Matthews (Hans Hernke) is ushered into a case involving a feisty yet missing girl, Rebecca (Vania Bezerra).  He emits a soggy, magisterial type of defense, due in part (maybe? Probably) to the new role he's accepted of training his trusty other-half detective co-pilot, Detective Davis, played by a baby faced Cameron Bigelow.  The main problem with Hidden Agenda is that it doesn't launch off with a solid plot point and it doesn't end with one, either.  Both A and B plots fit fairly snug into each other but don't do anything extensive or prominent to play off of each other. 

To the dismay of Detective Matthews, this particular case is too complex to handle from his office, so he must go out into the real world and become his own eyes and ears in the field.  Coming to terms with his own agenda (his own... hidden agenda?) means thrusting himself out of the comforts of his confine, really testing all of his detective skills, yet exploring new sides to himself that slowly unravel as the feisty (yet still kidnapped) Rebecca waits to be saved.  As he races against time to solve the case and “do some detective shit”, his world begins to run parallel. 

To the film's credit, each character is a perfect poster child for textbook emotion.  The scenes are shot cut and dry with little to no interpretation needed which actually helps as a binding agent for the film's purpose – helping the viewer avoid unnecessary conclusion-jumps which weren't there to begin with.  The bad news: minimal character development and a lackluster type of yarn that just barely starts to pick up as soon as it ends.  The good news: nothing is permanent.

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-Sarah Shafer