Exposed is about a young woman Isabel De La Cruz (Ana de Armas) who after seeing what she believes is an albino angel in the subway of all places experiences what could be called a spiritual reawakening of sorts. Isabel's soon-to-be family is religious and seem to believe her story, although her brother in-law, Manuel 'Rocky' De La Cruz (Gabe Vargas) seems to entertain her story to make her feel better, but not because he believes it. Rocky is recently released from prison and has vowed to walk the straight and narrow. Rocky's brother, Jose De La Cruz (Ismael Cruz Cordova) and Isabel's fiance seems to be a source of inspiration for Rocky since Jose is a soldier who's been deployed in Iraq for over a year. Rocky looks up to Jose. Local gangster, Jonathan 'Black' Jones (Big Daddy Kane) goes about eliminating any potential snitches because he's suspect number one in the murder of a cop, which is probably not the best way of professing your innocence, but this puts Rocky in his path as well. As Isabel is struggling to make sense out of her somewhat ethereal predicament, Detective Galban (Keanu Reeves) is investigating his partner's murder, which is tied up into this mess of subplots.
It seems like it was the worst kept secret that Galban's partner was dirty and that he probably got what was coming to him. Galban seemed to know that his partner was dirty, but not to the extent that soon becomes apparent. Lieutenant Galway (Christopher McDonald) urges Galban to drop the investigation due to the bad publicity it would cause if the truth ever got out. I understood his motivations, but Janine Cullen (Mira Sorvino) is at one point goading Galban to solve her husband's murder, and his partner's, but then she does a complete 180 and tells Galban to let the investigation rest as well. I don't understand her sudden complicity to just drop it, she didn't come into any new information that would have changed her mind. Janine seemed wildly inconsistent to me.
The editing of the movie was remarkably bizarre and it was awkward to watch, not because of the content, but just the framing of shots and editing of sequences, it was a very discombobulating movie in more ways than one. I knew the movie was taking a turn towards the surreal about halfway through, and yes, even more surreal than angels(?) repeatedly appearing. The screenplay was a mess, apparently it was changed to be more Keanu Reeves centric, but I felt like Ana de Armas got the most screen-time. Regardless, Exposed is a movie that was messed with so extremely that the director removed his name entirely from the movie and used a pseudonym instead. I can understand why. I'm skeptical whether his version would have been any better, but it was definitely a deeply split movie. I'd even say there were two separate movies in here.
Spoilers: I mentioned before that Exposed was clearly taking a surrealistic turn around the halfway point of the movie after her fiance was killed in action just days before he was due to come home. In her grief, Isabel took a special interest in a young girl called Elisa (Venus Ariel), who was being abused by her father. Elisa was symbolic of a young Isabel who had endured abuse at her father's hands, not only that, after Isabel was raped in the subway, Isabel had blocked out her recollection of the deeply traumatic event and projected them onto Elisa. It turns out that Galban's partner was more than a dirty cop, he was a rapist as well. Isabel had blocked out the rape so adamantly in her subconscious that when she got pregnant, she believed she was carrying a baby from God because he knew that Jose wasn't coming home. Of course her soon-to-be family reject her explanation and kick her out of their lives.
Exposed was supposed to be a psychological exploration of the effects of abuse, at least I think so, but they threw in so many extraneous subplots that it's no wonder the director took his name off it. The ending left almost everything totally unresolved, the characters had no real development or even motivation. I'm surprised they even managed to recruit a fairly strong cast to this project. Exposed is a lifeless and convoluted hodgepodge of spirituality, superstitions and symbolism that goes absolutely nowhere fast. I could go into the muddled symbolism of it, but I feel like that would be giving this movie far more time than it deserves. Exposed is a pure waste of time, and I say this as a massive Keanu Reeves fan too, save yourself the time and avoid this movie like it's the plague.
Written by - The Sentry - 03/05/2016