Review by Mark Merrell
A Suspenseful Thriller In A Tangled Web Of Deceit
When at first you practice to deceive, a ton of drama is conceived. That’s the theme in this nail biting edge-of-your-seat thriller. Sasha (Shireen Crutchfield, Love and a Bullet, Hot Boyz) is a former model. She’s now a stay at home mom, making jewelry, taking exercise classes, and hanging out occasionally with her friend, Tai (Lanett Tachel, Sister Code, Juilius!), who loves to blog, and is Sasha’s voice of reason. Sasha is married to Guy (David Ramsey, Arrow, Con Air, Pay It Forward), a parole officer, who is trying to impress and eventually win out a job promotion from his boss, Linda (Vivica Fox, Kill Bill: Vol 1 (and 2), Independence Day, Batman & Robin). Linda is a tough, no-nonsense women. Guy’s coworker, Kevin (Michael Monks, End of Watch, Harsh Times, Air Force One) is a nice, but always inappropriate single guy.
The movie begins as Sasha and Guy start the day after just waking up. Sasha is thinking about getting back into modeling, but Guy wants her to be a stay at home mom. Guy is uptight about trying to get a job promotion, and the two clash a bit on her possible modeling pursuit. Guy and Sasha get their daughter, Skyla (Sade Kimora Young, Teachers, Mack & Moxy, American Horror Story) ready for school.
As Guy is heading to work, Sasha heads to her car on the way to her exercise class, and finds out she has a flat tire. She calls Guy, and he’s running late, but suggests that she call, Cruise, a ride service similar to Uber. Unsure about how safe it is, she calls her friend Tai. She also thinks it’s a bit dicey, but Sasha decides to call the service for a ride regardless.
When her driver, Lance (McKinley Freeman, End of Watch, Hit the Floor, Greencard Warriors) arrives, he is very polite, well dressed, and friendly, much to the relief of Sasha. Lance questions Sasha about what she does for a living, inquiring if she is a model. Sasha explains she isn’t, but then she explains that she used to be, and that her husband doesn’t support her going back to that profession. Lance is quick to state that Sasha should pursue her dream.
Meanwhile, Guy is under a heavy workload. Kevin explains that their boss Linda is not in a good mood. Guy is also fending off the affections of his assistant, Elaine (Dionne Gipson, Criminal Minds, Squatters, Black Dynamite). In the midst of his day, Guy is assigned a new parolee, Faren Wilson (Michelle Weaver, Sister Code, Switched at Birth). She was in an abusive relationship with Terrence (Vincent Ward, The Walking Dead, Death House, Atlanta).
After an very heated argument between Sasha and Guy regarding his reluctance again for Sasha to model, she pushes Guy away from her as he tries to cuddle with her in bed. The next day, Faren shows Guy a lot of attention. Conversely, Sasha is convinced by Lance to do an impromptu photo shoot. This lights a fuse in the wrong direction for Guy and Sasha, who are drifting apart.
Director, Producer, and Writer, Corey Grant takes us on a trill ride. The first half of the film gives the audience great character development setting up the thriller in second half of the movie. The film was co-written by Lannet Tachel, who, as we stated, loves to blog in the movie. Her charisma steals each scene she is in. The entire cast are very believable, each giving us an interesting character to follow as the film unfolds. Dionne Gibson is also the executive producer for the movie. Keep and eye out for Felipe (Dean Cain, God’s Not Dead, Out of Time, Lois & Clark: The Adventures of Superman), and Nadine (Essence Atkins, Sister Code, Half & Half, A Haunted House), who are both fantastic.
Although shot as a movie, Illicit would be an excellent prospect as a television series. It would be great to watch these interesting characters/actors on a weekly basis.
Breaking Glass Pictures will release the upcoming seductive thriller ILLICIT in theaters May 5, 2017 and On Demand/DVD on May 23, 2017.