Review: Backtrace

DVD and Digital HD: Backtrace (2018)

When a $20M bank heist doesn’t go to plan and ends in a violent shootout, it leaves Macdonald (Matthew Modine) with amnesia after a head injury. His loss of memory is the crux of the narrative of Backtrace, as he is the only surviving person who knows where the money is hidden.

After 7 years in a prison psychiatric evaluation ward, Macdonald is broken out by a gang of people who want a share of the money from that infamous heist. They plan to do this by injecting Macdonald with a brand new serum that will help to restore his memory…though there is also a chance that the serum may well have adverse effects on his psyche.

The gang must complete their task while local detective Sykes (Sylvester Stallone) and FBI agent Franks (Christopher McDonald) are tracking them down.

Will Macdonald finally remember the location of the cash or succumb to the adverse effects of the serum? Will Sykes and/or Franks manage to find them?

All of the above questions and more are poised as the narrative of Backtrace keeps giving little twists and turns throughout its running time, adding new layers of intrigue which help to rise it above the usual ‘direct to DVD’ fare which is often found on the shelves today.

Sylvester Stallone gets more screen time than in the awful Escape Plan 2, and while not really getting involved in any of the action, bar a shootout near the end, makes his presence known throughout the entire movie.

Matthew Modine gives a convincing performance as a man struggling to piece together his vague memories, and while the budget of the movie occasionally makes you aware of its ‘direct to DVD’ roots, director Brian A. Miller keeps everything ticking over at a pace that kept me glued to the screen without any instances of checking how long was left to go before the end.

Backtrace will never be mentioned in a top 10 list of Stallone movies, but to be fair, despite featuring Slys face and name predominantly on the cover, this is a Matthew Modine movie, with fantastic support by Ryan Guzman and Meadow Williams too.

My expectations were admittedly low going into the viewing of Backtrace, but it definitely exceeded all of them. Damning with faint praise? I’ll argue no to that. If you’re familiar with lower budget movies and don’t expect everything to look like the latest multi-million dollar tentpole release from the major studios, there’s a lot to enjoy with Backtrace.

One not just for fans of Sly Stallone, but for everyone who enjoys a decent bank heist movie with a few narrative twists that keep you hooked.

Backtrace will be released on 14th January 2019 (Digital DVD on 7th January) and you can buy it buy clicking HERE. ALL money raised by purchasing from Amazon via our website is given back to our listeners and followers in upcoming competition prizes. The more people buy, the bigger our prizes.

Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from an online streaming link kindly provided by Fetch Publicity.