Mistaken (2015)

mistaken

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New Jersey-based indie filmmaker Franklin Correa unleashes his latest film, a tale of a man returning home and finds himself wondering what happened after he left town years ago.

Five years ago, Joey learned that his best friend Lashawn was preparing to make a major deal with Devaughn, a man with a “reputation”. However, before knowing about the deal himself, Joey leaves town and heads for Boston, where he ends up running a pizzeria.

Deciding to return to New Jersey to see his mother for the first time since leaving town, Joey learns that so much has changed since his departure. When he comes to town, he gains the attention of two local hustlers, Tito and Marlon. This causes Joey to figure out what has happened as there seems to be a power struggle now between Lashawn and Devaughn. Devaughn, knowing that Lashawn could gain more power by reuniting with Joey, decides that Joey must be dead. To achieve this, Devaughn hires two assassins, Curtis and Moses. Meanwhile, Joey seeks the help of his ex-girlfriend Vanessa in order to figure out what had happened when he left town.

As many will know, I am all for independent filmmaking, especially from local talents. One such name is Franklin Correa, a New Jersey-based filmmaker who also happens to be a martial artist with Ninjitsu as his style. While many are used to a more technical style of choreography to showcase the skills and talents of its stars and stunt people, Correa himself uses a more realistic approach when it comes to hand-to-hand skills. While the film does have two short but sweet fight scenes, the film relies more on its mystery like-plot.

Despite a few technical flaws in the film (some audio is barely heard and in one shot, the camera did look a little blurry), it is overall a pretty good local indie film. Correa does well as Joey, who returns home to inexplicably find himself in a power struggle between two guys, one of those guys being his former best friend. While we see that relationship in the flashback that opens the film, we don’t get to see much of the present-day relationship between the two because the focus of the film is Joey trying not to get killed because of his connection to Lashawn. Herve Fontaine does well as the mastermind villain Devaughn, who not only hires two assassins to kill Joey, but even has an ace up his sleeve, which I won’t reveal, but even I was surprised with that big reveal.

As mentioned, the film is more plot-heavy but it does have two short fight scenes worth mentioning and they do show Correa’s more realistic approach. The first pits Joey against Moses, played by former UFC fighter Pete “Drago” Sell. For this, Correa combined his trademark Ninjitsu and MMA, utilizing Sell’s talent. However, the second fight scene is quite the better out of the two, with Joey taking on Curtis, played by Dominick Wright. Here, Wright uses some of his technical skills while Correa uses a Steven Seagal-like approach to counter Wright’s attacks.

Running at 65 minutes, MISTAKEN is fairly good for a local indie film. Franklin Correa is definitely a filmmaker who can not only write but brings a realistic approach to his fight scenes. Despite a few technical flaws in the production, the film proves that you don’t need a Hollywood-style budget to make a straightforward action-mystery. Plus, the twist at the end really made this worth watching.

WFG Rating: B/B- (borderline but only because of the technical flaws…but that twist!)

A Pantero Productions/Iamanartist Reels Prodcution. Director: Franklin Correa. Producers: Claude Edney and Herve Fontaine. Writer: Franklin Correa. Cinematography: Iyke Chukwu. Editing: Claude Edney.

Cast: Franklin Correa, Lester Greene, Herve Fontaine, Crystal T. Williams, Geneva Ortiz, Dominick Wright, Pete “Drago” Sell, Danny Mceaddy, James Konczyk, Jay Magicus

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