There’s room for a good film about the havoc National Guard deployment wreaks on the lives of America’s citizen soldiers and their families, but “Recalled” is not that film. Expanding on his 2006 short of the same title, tyro helmer and former Army Ranger Michael Connors allows a potentially interesting examination of inequity and its relationship to race and class to morph into a prison-break thriller, with risible results. Name thesps could drive home-format interest.
Although he cares deeply about his men, Lt. Sefton (Seth Gabel, “Dirty Sexy Money”), a wealthy, connected Ivy League grad, wangles a transfer to a Stateside communications unit just before his unit deploys to Iraq. Meanwhile, specialist Reyes (rapper Shad “Bow Wow” Moss), the squad’s best medic, is denied compassionate deferment even though his young son has only months to live. Driven by liberal guilt, and a little bit of blackmail, Sefton helps Reyes go AWOL, and suffers for it. Lt. Chambers (Pablo Schreiber, “The Wire”), a wounded vet called in as Sefton’s replacement, sneers at his predecessor’s choices. Earnest thesping, throbbing score and bleached-out visuals don’t help matters.