OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

Target Number One

Uncover the Corruption. Discover the Truth.

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As portrayed by Josh Hartnett in director Daniel Roby’s new film, real-life reporter Victor Malarek teeters between tenacious truth-teller and abrasive ass.

He is convinced that there is a massive story of corruption and greed brewing in Thailand involving drug dealers, the RCMP and an innocent Canadian addict serving a 100-year prison sentence.

The cops won’t tell him anything, his editors are skeptical, and he’s maybe using the story as an excuse to run away from his newfound parental responsibilities. But the man has a ‘gut instinct’ – which is also the title of Malarek’s 1996 memoir – and so off he goes into Thailand to set things right.

If Roby simply traced Malarek’s journey, it would have been compelling enough. Fortunately, the Québécois filmmaker is just as interested in the plight of the aforementioned prisoner, Daniel Léger (Antoine Olivier Pilon), and the lazy cop (Stephen McHattie) who’s responsible for the mess. The result is a three-pronged narrative that inventively plays with structure and time, allowing the natural dramatic tension of Malarek’s international chase to nicely dovetail with Léger’s ugly experiences in the criminal justice system.

There is not much more you could ask of a Canadian thriller.

– Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

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