Cast: Guy Pearce, Devon Sawa, Branscombe Richmond, Michael Bellisario
Director: York Alec Shackleton
Does anyone else remember a time when Guy Pearce was a legit A-list actor? Oh how the mighty have fallen. I know the last few years haven’t been very fruitful for him, but my God I thought he’d be better than this. An on-demand movie with nothing original or purposeful about it, Disturbing the Peace isn’t even bad enough to end up in the “so bad it’s good” category and ends up just being a ridiculous and poorly made time-waster for those who have nothing better to do with their time.
The film follows Jim Dillon (Pearce) a small-town marshal who doesn’t carry a weapon due to an incident that left his last partner dead. One day, a group of bikers shows up to his town and starts causing a scene. While most people would assume this is just a few hooligans up to no good, Jim suspects there’s more to what he’s seeing and keeps an eye on what’s going on. Turns out Jim was right and this gang goes on a terror spree through his town causing mayhem at every corner. Now it’s up to Jim to keep the town safe and bring justice to those who want to destroy everything he loves. If done well, the overall premise of Disturbing the Peace should make it a serviceable and entertaining popcorn movie. The key word in that sentence is “if.” Imagine a movie where minor characters are given completely irrelevant backstories, none of the antagonist’s motivations are reasonable or thought out, and you have a seemingly complex protagonist who abandons all of his insecurities with little reservation. That’s almost exactly what we get during the entire 91 minute runtime of Disturbing the Peace. I don’t need to know the romantic interests of a character that doesn’t even have a name to have a clear understanding of what’s going on in the town. Keep it simple, focus on a few key areas, and string together something coherent and realistically this movie would’ve been fine. I have no idea who was behind the bizarre choices and decisions to exclude some characters yet over-represent others, but I hope whoever wrote this takes a look back at everything and recognizes the issues with the script. I still can’t believe Guy Pearce subjected himself to this nonsense when this feels like much more familiar territory for Steven Seagal or a similar actor. I can’t recall one interesting fact about any single character and just when you think the movie might actually get good, it shifts away from the tension completely. Not even the action sequences were campy enough to stand out in a positive way like they do in goofier movies, so it really goes to show you where this movie ranks in the grand scheme of things. There are a few hilariously bad moments, but outside of that Disturbing the Peace is a jumbled, boring mess that in no way, shape, or form engages or entertains the majority of viewers. This is the type of movie that came out about 10 years too late and even as a stream it’s a waste of time.
Overall, Disturbing the Peace really optimizes the awfulness that is January streaming releases. Guy Pearce really needs to take a step back and analyze where he’s at with his career, because he’s capable of much more than being cast in this nonsense. He still has some mainstream appeal, so it’s only a matter of time before he lands on his feet. For the rest of this cast and crew, I don’t really know what to say to them other than good luck with the rest of your careers, because after watching Disturbing the Peace, you’ll need all the luck you can get.
Overall Score: 2.5/10