Review

Slightly contrived 'Suicide Theory' brings intriguing characters to life

"The Suicide Theory" centers on a man who's suicidal but also apparently invincible.

Inconsolable since his partner's untimely death, Percival (Leon Cain) has fruitlessly tried to off himself. It must be fate, he's convinced, that he leaps off a building and happens to land atop a cab carrying contract killer Steven (Steve Mouzakis).

Percival had commissioned the professional assassin to fulfill his death wish, and after a few unsuccessful attempts, they begin to bond. The odd-couple dynamic somewhat recalls Joel Schumacher's "Flawless," in which the hard-bitten tough guy discovers the humanity beneath his gruff exterior while looking out for the vulnerable gay guy. As it turns out, Steven is grieving the accidental death of his wife and grappling with post-traumatic stress disorder. As he prods Percival to find solace, Steven tries to heed his own advice.

A movie in which everything happens for a reason often ends up a bit too neat and conveniently symmetrical. Although Michael J. Kospiah's script isn't exactly predictable or didactic, it does feel contrived and improbable on occasion.

"Suicide Theory" does boast a couple of intriguingly complex characters, however, and some interesting points on how little satisfaction is derived from retribution, especially when what goes around reliably comes around.

------------------

"The Suicide Theory."

MPAA rating: R for strong violence, language, sexual content.

Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes.

Playing: Laemmle's Music Hall 3, Beverly Hills. Also on VOD.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
69°