A decently sustained performance by Billy Burke can't breathe much life into "Forfeit," an overworked thriller that's all setup and little payoff.

A decently sustained performance by Billy Burke can’t breathe much life into “Forfeit,” an overworked revenge thriller that’s all setup and little payoff. Clever but unconvincing tale follows a man whose sinister motives and often inexplicable behavior are only gradually illuminated, though auds probably won’t find the revelations worth the trouble. Limited theatrical play will precede a quick trip to homevid.

Egged on by a raving televangelist (“24’s” Gregory Itzin, very good) who may be a figment of his imagination, Frank (Burke) — or is it Francis? — tries to patch things up with his ex (Sherry Stringfield) while working for a very shady armored-car company. Pic amounts to a parade of under-motivated confrontations, as the self-righteous Frank butts heads with (and schemes against) everyone from his roommate to his sleazy employers; Burke leavens the bile with sly humor, but he’s not playing a tortured soul so much as a belligerent cipher. Helmer Andrew Brendan Shea (“The Corndog Man”) can’t shape these undisciplined scenes into a tense, urgent narrative, though at 84 minutes, “Forfeit” doesn’t overstay its welcome. Shot and set in Los Angeles, low-budgeter boasts solid tech credits.



A Corndog Prods. release and presentation of a Doradel Pictures production. Produced by Andrew Brendan Shea, John Rafter Lee, Carol Ann Shine, Sherri James. Directed by Andrew Brendan Shea. Screenplay, John Rafter Lee.


Camera (FotoKem color), Roberto Blasini; editor, Melissa Shea; music, Andrew Gross; production designer, Paul L. Jackson; art director, Kristie Thompson; costume designer, Michele K. Short. Reviewed on DVD, Glendale, Calif., Nov. 25, 2007. (In SXSW, Brooklyn film festivals.) Running time: 84 MIN.


Billy Burke, Sherry Stringfield, John Aylward, Gregory Itzin, Phil Reeves, Kirk Baltz, Robert Rusler, Lee Garlington, Chris McKenna, Steven Williams, Wayne Knight.

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