DVD Review: The Entitled (2011)

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Courier Paul Dynan (Kevin Zegers) may boast an impressive education, a penchant for perfectionism and a hunger for hard work so strong that he’s willing to offer firms the chance to test drive his skills for free as a volunteer just to get his foot in the door.

But at the end of the day, Paul Dynan understands that he’s still just a blue collar bike messenger who can’t keep that door open without assistance because in the New York business world it’s all about who you know and where you come from no matter how many hours a night he spends reading up and researching the beautiful and damned entitled ones he knows are entitled enough to get ahead without even trying.

Facing mounting medical bills for his increasingly sick mother and foreclosure notices arriving everyday, Paul decides to put his extracurricular “homework” to unorthodox use by way of a most dangerous and daringly deadly plan.

He quickly sets in motion a kidnap-for-ransom Robin Hood scheme of stealing rich spawn from the rich with the goal of hijacking the paternal pockets of the trust fund babies he’ll hold hostage along with two sociopathic slackers of the Gus Van Sant To Die For persuasion, hoping to pocket the proceeds long enough to pay off his parents’ overwhelming debt.

Former Air Bud Disney kid turned talented Transamerica character actor Kevin Zegers continues on his casting tour of New York based rebels following a snakelike stint on CW’s Gossip Girl with yet another fine turn as the anchor of Anchor Bay’s darkly engrossing thriller that actually packs along a few nice surprises to help it elevate above and deviate from other B-movie straight-to-disc noirs of the Ray Liotta variety.

Although it’s fairly easy to see one character-based twist a mile away thanks to some transparent context clues dropped into the dialogue of Entitled daddies Ray Liotta, Victor Garber and Stephen McHattie, Aaron Woodley’s picture nonetheless manages to command out attention throughout and well past the point of relative character inconsistencies and faulty logic.

While admittedly it’s safe to predict that Paul’s plan will be neither simple nor perfect and we know from the moment it starts that it will fail to go according to any kind of schedule, Woodley’s cinematic plan – thanks to a taut script from William Morrissey – is a different story altogether.

Pulsing along at a fast pace, Anchor Bay’s effective Entitled offers new angles on an old noir arrangement with sharp direction, sublime technical specs that make the clarity of the DVD image sparkle like high definition, in addition to a performance by Zegers that’s not only so authentic that it should be criminal but so impressive it’s bound to open more doors for the up-and-coming actor.  

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