Tired of being unemployed and living with his parents two years following college, Paul (Kevin Zegers, “Frozen”) feels pushed to a breaking point. When he learns his ill mother can’t afford her $954 prescriptions, and that their house is in foreclosure, he hatches a desperate plot to kidnap the carefree, clubbing, coke-snorting, trust-fund offspring of three überwealthy businessmen, and hold them for a fair-enough $3 million ransom.
The patriarchs are played by Ray Liotta (“Street Kings 2: Motor City”), Stephen McHattie (TV’s “Haven”) and Victor Garber (“The Town”); most notable among their stuck-up kids is blonde beauty Laura Vandervoort (TV’s “Smallville”). Her posse says things like “Everybody sucks but us” and “We don’t live in the real world. We don’t have to,” presumably to get you squarely on Paul’s never-simple side.
That’s important, because the movie’s twists have you questioning your allegiances so often, you risk whiplash. Directed by Aaron Woodley, “The Entitled” is more clever than more lauded films like, say, “The Lookout.” Both are 20-something takes on film-noir conventions, but just because the story elements may be tried-and-true, that doesn’t mean viewers can’t be tricked. I’ll confess to being fooled and/or surprised at a couple of reveals.
The film isn’t perfect, mostly due to some off supporting performances by actors I haven’t even named, but damned if it doesn’t work. And work well. I wonder if I’d feel the same if its alternate ending was utilized instead. think the one Woodley has gone with is stronger, but the discarded one does fill what some may see as a gaping plot hole. —Rod Lott