Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

‘Digital Reaper’ which is the title of the movie I saw, as opposed to the current title of the movie which happens to be ‘Dot.Kill’, arguably the lamest movie title of all time, is a Direct To Video feature that while not the best movie out there, it does have a glorious overacted performance from a man I will coin as a legend, Armand Assante.  Armand of course is a long time industry standard whose been around in movies about as long as I’ve been around in life, plus he was in ‘The Mambo Kings’, one of the most underrated movies ever.


There’s nothing too terribly overrated about the fairly pedestrian ‘Digital Reaper’ though as it is pretty much a by the numbers thriller, fitted with a nice atmosphere and of course the glorious overacting of Mr. Assante.


Assante is the profane New York Detective Charlie Daines, who is dying of cancer, though he hides this fact from everyone.  As I have said before, if you cough in real life, you reach for a Halls – with eucalyptus, if you cough in a movie, YOU GONNA DIE!!!  Charlie sees his son playing some kind of violent video game that has popped up on his computer screen, but as it so turns out, it’s not a game but a snuff film as the CEO of a high tech firm was kidnapped, strapped to a pole and has his head blown off.  I should mention that this CEO was at a strip club before he was snagged.  Similar to the cough situation, if you as a filmmaker can’t think of a legitimate reason to squeeze a pair tits in your movie, then simply have a character hang out at a strip club.  Oh but it’s only beginning as tech CEO after tech CEO keeps popping up on the internet, dying more inventively and violently than the one before.

The cops, now at their wits end, decides it’s time to fight fire with fire so they bring in their own hacker in wheelchair bound Adam (Raffaello Degruttola) who immediately rubs the old school Detective Daines the wrong way with his high tech – new fangled techniques.  Not that Adam’s skills are faring any better as the murders continue to escalate.  Detective Daines decides to take matters into his own hands and use some old fashion leather to the pavement police work to crack the case, and what he finds will shock him. 


It may shock Detective Daines, but I doubt very seriously that it will shock you as veteran director John Irvin doesn’t do a hell of a great job in diverting suspicion since the big mystery is fairly obvious early on.  The whole Internet tie in and side bar attacks on rampant consumerism, though interesting in themselves, don’t really do so well here and aren’t integrated well enough into the story to make you give a damn.


What ‘Digital Reaper’ does have going for it, outside of Armand Assante’s performance, is a real nice gritty feel to it.  Irvin and his crew were able to successfully, assuming that was what they were shooting for, create a grimy, dirty urban atmosphere.  The performances from the actors portraying the beleaguered police officers, with their profane responses to even the most simple questions, bristled with realism and intensity, but unfortunately the movie wasn’t about them.


All in all, a fairly mediocre effort comes from ‘Digital Reaper’ or whatever they wish to call it.

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