Begosian is no Bogosian: Andy Garcia
Begosian is no Bogosian: Andy Garcia

Can't come up with a single reason to recommend this leaden excuse for an eco-thriller, which one Damian Lee claims to have written and directed. Pitting corporate bad guys against saintly Third Worlders, A Dark Truth wears a bleeding heart on its sleeve, a designer appliqué of empty liberal platitudes. The story leapfrogs from person to person, place to place, trying desperately to weave wayward threads into a compelling pattern. And some awful plague of glum-and-grim afflicts the whole cast, most notably Andy Garcia and Forest Whitaker. Perhaps Lee believed long faces would lend weight to his Dark Truth.
      You know the movie's a badly oiled machine from the get-go: Lee cuts back and forth between South American villagers being massacred by machine gun and a Canadian talk show host (Garcia) sermonizing about the basic goodness of humankind. You may feel bludgeoned and/or distracted by these erratically juxtaposed realities. The heavy hand presses on: The talk show's called "The Truth" and the host's moniker is Jack Begosian—a tip of the fedora to Eric Bogosian of Talk Radio. This particular host is a former CIA agent, and so severe is his haircut, so penitential his delivery, the dude might as well be wearing sackcloth and ashes. At home, Jack's stone face cracks a little, to let in even more pain, as his wife whines about his emotional "absence," while his little boy—autistic? mentally challenged?—prefers staring at a clock to eating.
      Elsewhere, a fully clothed blonde (Deborah Kara Unger of Silent Hill) sinks lugubriously into her bathtub. What's got her down? Cut to a hospital ribbon-cutting ceremony, where a wild-eyed Ecuadoran dude blows his head off, splattering the bathtub lady's haute couture with unpleasant bodily fluids. Then cut to saintly campesino Francisco Francis (Whitaker) fleeing through the jungle, stopping only to beat a soldier to death with a rock. Back to the icy-blue environs of a Toronto corporate tower, where Bruce Swinton (Kim Coates, his Sons of Anarchy pervy machismo neutered) surveys the world at his feet. All that threatens his billion-dollar African deal to virtually control water-purification rights is a leak about all the Ecuadorans his company murdered after tainting their drinking water. Wouldn't you know that the woman trying to wash off blood and guilt in her bathtub is Bruce's sister Morgan, who up until now has been satisfied with the empty life of a much-married socialite.
      The stage, all over the map, is set….

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