Pablo F. Fenjves’ script for “Out of Annie’s Past” digs into a worthy flight of fancy: What happens if someone fingered by a TV docu about crime suspects is innocent? Fenjves and director Stuart Cooper give the idea free rein, and they come up with a good, if far-fetched, commercial suspenser.
Bounty hunter Charles Ingle (Dennis Farina) is tipped that Natalie Kovacs (Catherine Mary Stewart) now lives in Salt Lake City.
She’s wanted in New York for a decade-old murder. Ingle was hired by an obsessive boyfriend (it gets a bit thick here), Lev Petrovich (Carsten Norgaard); Lev is the son of a Brooklyn Russian godfather, and he still wants Natalie — even more than the law does.
Natalie is now known as Annie, married for nine years to well-off architect Michael Carver (Scott Valentine) and the happy mother of two.
Ingle double-crosses Petrovich and tells Annie he wants $ 100,000 to keep her ID a secret, and she covers most of Salt Lake trying to dig up the cash without hubby knowing. Ingle, noting blackmailers are never finished, asks for too much. Accidents will happen.
Director Cooper does a nifty job of keeping the vidpic quickstepping so the cracks don’t show. There are B&W flashbacks of the original crime, when Natalie was an odd-looking brunette.
Stewart is unflaggingly sincere as Annie, and Valentine ably acquits himself as the husband kept in the dark. Farina’s Ingle is an easygoing, convincing menace, while Norgaard’s overwrought lover is smooth as cream.
Others in the cast perform their chores well enough, and Amanda Bruce is sleek and lovely as a bank officer.
The windup is quick enough to flummox anyone, and no one is going to believe the bloody denouement anyway. Tech credits are good, and the vidpic as escapism makes its case.