A dude with some major PTSD is accused of murdering his wife and forced to go on the run to avoid being embroiled in a massive conspiracy in Indemnity, a South African action-thriller that is a step above your generic suspense flick but a step below timeless classic.
Travis Taute writes and directs the film, which doesn’t exactly set the world on fire with originality but has a complex-enough and unpredictable story to hold your attention. I went into Indemnity blind, knowing nothing about it other than it was a “South African action movie.” The scene in which protagonist Theo discovers his dead wife is well played and caught me by surprise, and the movie offers up a few more twists and turns that keep you guessing. Even with a somewhat generic conspiracy plot, the details within work more often than not.
Jarrid Geduld does an admirable job as a psychologically broken fireman in Cape Town. He runs, he fights, and he looks angry, which checks the right boxes. Even still, Geduld struggles on the charisma front; while you see sparks of something more, his lack of real, gritty presence keeps the material from taking off. He, and by proxy Theo, gets lost in the movie when he should command it.
Speaking of command, the action is of above-average quality but never quite grabs hold the way you’d expect. Taute is so very close to bringing all the pieces together, but the action comes more in short, inconsistent bursts than in mounting fashion; it’s frustrating, and I found my attention wandering over time.
Indemnity isn’t a great movie, but despite its shortcomings it’s an entertaining, fast-paced, and occasionally edgy action film.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.