Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Absolute Mediocrity… thy name is ‘Absolute Deception’.  It is no fun to write about absolute mediocrity my friends, because mediocrity gives you nothing.  Mediocrity is that guy that sits in the cube that you don’t know, but he must be doing something because he’s getting a paycheck.  Mediocrity is that bland burger you ate for dinner on your way home from work that you can’t remember, outside of the fact that you’re not hungry anymore.  Mediocrity is that pro football team that finishes 8-8 or 7-9 every year.  Excellence gives you something to talk about, the gawdawful gives you something to remember it by, but mediocrity gives us nothing.

‘Absolute Deception’ stars Cuba Gooding Jr., whom the last time we saw he was on TMZ stumbling out of a bar yelling about some bartender being racist, and to be honest, Mr. Gooding looked to be just about as wore out in this movie as he was coming out of that bar a few months back.  Regardless of all of that, Mr. Gooding is FBI agent Chuck Nelson… I don’t know if Chuck is his real first name or not, because I can’t remember… but Chuck is in Australia to get some intel from some cat to help him bring down this Rupert Murdoch-esque character.  Unfortunately agent Nelson sucks at his job and this guy gets killed and is dumped off into the ocean for the sharks to feast on.

A little investigation reveals that this dead guy isn’t who he said he was, and that he’s actually American tax attorney Mike Scott (Ty Hungerford) who faked his death, before dying for real a few minutes earlier, leaving behind a pretty wife in ace reporter Rebecca Scott (Emmanuelle Vaugier).  Obviously once Agent Nelson shows up at the door and hits Rebecca with the heavy stuff, she’s shocked.  But she is an ace reporter, and she follows Nelson back to Australia to find out who her newly dead for real husband really was, and maybe find his killer.

Nelson is not at all happy to see Rebecca, even though when he first sees her she’s swimming in the hotel pool in the tiniest of bikini’s displaying roughly 4% body fat.  Nelson tells her to go home, she says no, and after she meets her newly dead

husband’s latest widow, some dude tries to kill her.  Now here’s the thing… once everything plays out in this movie and all is revealed, why anyone was trying to kill Rebecca is bit of a conundrum, but the good side of this is that you will probably forget this movie the minute the end credits roll, so you won’t be concerned.  I’m writing about it so I had to make it stick in my brain.  Now that I think about, because now I’m forced to think about, almost nothing that happened in this movie makes sense once it makes its big reveal.

Anyway, the grizzled FBI agent and the pesky reporter are teaming up to bring down the bad man they believe killed her husband, that being corporate raider Mr. Ostenberg (Chris Betts), who claims he’s being framed.  True, her dead husband stole ten million from this man, but why kill somebody over a lousy ten million dollars?  But the real secrets, the mind blowing conclusion, will blow you away.  At least in theory.  We figured it out real early, and we’re not very bright over here.

This movie ‘Absolute Deception’ was directed by one Brian Trenchard Smith whom we complain about all the time because the first movie we ever saw by Mr. Smith was ‘The Man from Hong Kong’, made way back in ’76, and that movie was awesome.  We just want more of that awesomeness is all, and less of what we got here, including a few of the past movies we’ve seen from Mr. Smith.

‘Absolute Deception’ has the look, feel and sensibilities of a Lifetime TV movie, from the way that it was lit, the lack of any kind of edge, no nudity, no profanity, very little suspense, and very little of anything.  And when we say it represents absolute mediocrity, it is truly absolutely mediocre.  Cuba dragged himself from scene to scene, giving just enough effort to let the audience know that he was alive during this movie, but not a lot else.  Emmanuelle Vaugier did come off a little better, probably because this was really her movie, despite Cuba Gooding Jr.’s name on top of the box cover, but we must admit we’ve seen the lovely Ms. Vaugier in quite a few projects and she basically gives us variations of the same character time in and time out.  I will say that she and Cuba did have some decent chemistry while bouncing mediocre dialog off of one another, and I think Cuba got to touch her butt in this movie, which is good for Cuba.

I guess the good news is that while the plotting for this film started out as run-of-the-mill, by the time it got to the big reveal, it became ludicrous.  I know that doesn’t sound like good news, but it actually is because it breaks the monotony of mediocrity. 

Neither good nor bad, just there to take up space and give Cuba and Emmanuelle something to do in a sunny location for a couple of weeks, once again… mediocrity thy name is ‘Absolute Deception’.

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