Consequence (2003) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Consequence is an unbelievably convoluted mystery/thriller from HBO pictures.

Armand Assante plays the part of a disgraced oral surgeon who concocts an elaborate plot to start a new life. His long-missing brother and some dental records provide the starting point. Armand reconfigures a corpse to have his brother's dentition. Then he swaps his dental records and his brother's. Bingo, he is now his own presumed-dead brother and the corpse is him. He then causes the corpse to be fried up unrecognizably in an accident, thus establishing his own death. His girlfriend is the beneficiary of his substantial insurance policies. Then he gets some plastic surgery and re-emerges as his long-missing brother.

Sounds good in theory. These complicated movie plots always do, don't they? Of course, our conniving dentist immediately encounters two major problems:

1) While he was getting and recovering from his plastic surgery, his girlfriend decided that there was no reason to share the loot.

2) His long-missing brother was not the altruistic Peace Corps volunteer that everyone thought he was. He was CIA. More important that that, he was rogue CIA, and expropriated something like a quarter of a billion dollars of the Agency's money. Obviously, there was a damned good reason why he went missing in the first place. When he "shows up" again, the entire CIA wants him, everyone ranging from the honest guys to his former partners in the money scam. Oops, I guess the dentist picked the wrong identity to assume.

Hoo-boy is this plot complicated! What I wrote so far may seem fairly complex, but that doesn't even scratch the surface of this plot. In fact, that was only the set-up, and was all revealed in the first half hour. There are so many crosses and double-crosses, and so many competing factions that I'm not even sure I knew who everyone was or why they did what they did. Assante himself got into more perils than Pauline, always to be rescued from his personal gallows at the last minute by one improbable deus ex machina or another, yet unable even to trust the people who just rescued him from the prior group.

At last, all of the various plot twists led up to one enormous final plot twist which was supposed to be a real shocker. Unfortunately, I had concluded after about ten minutes that the big surprise was the only possible inevitable conclusion. 


Nadia Kretschmer, in a minor role as the dentist's wife, is topless briefly.

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic, satisfactory transfer

Whether you see it all coming or not, this twisty grade-B thriller is kind of fun in an operatic way, and director Paul Hickox showed true genius at getting a lot of mileage out of a low budget. There is an entertaining and highly original car chase, and there are several moments filled with appreciable (if synthetic) tension.

On the other hand, the film could have benefited from fewer plot twists, less grisly violence, and more characterization. It's really a genre film for genre buffs, for the people who can never get enough of complications, and lurid, over-the-top action.

The Critics Vote ...

  • There's only one review on line ( and they despised it: 1/5. It isn't that bad.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 6.8/10. It isn't as bad as suggested by's 1/5, but that IMDb rating is simply too high. Somewhere around 5.5 would be reasonable.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, Scoop says, "This is a C-  If you like this genre, have already seen all the "big" films, and are looking for a time-killer, this could be fun. If you are not a genre addict, there is no crossover appeal at all. It's all action, violence, and crazy plot twists." Tuna liked it far less, writing, "I am still not sure about a lot of the plot, but don't care enough to try and figure it out. It was evidently a German production, shot in Africa for the US cable market. Election return reruns would make for better viewing. D."

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