Inheritance is a movie about horrible people doing horrible things for vague and presumably horrible reasons. When the head of the Monroe family, Archer Monroe (Patrick Warburton – Men in Black 2, Kim Possible) suddenly dies, it falls to his daughter Lauren (Lily Collins – The Mortal Instruments, Tolkien) and son William (Chace Crawford – The Boys, Blood & Oil) to continue the family legacy. William is a politician running for office and Lauren is a District Attorney involved in a high profile court case. Oh, Lauren is married as well and has a daughter, but they’re almost entirely inconsequential to the plot so we can move right on.
The last thing Lauren expects is to for her father to leave her, and only her, something in his will. Something nobody else can know about. Something that could destroy her family if it ever came to light. That something, or someone, is a man called Morgan (Simon Pegg – Star Trek, Hot Fuzz), and the movie revolves around him, the things he’s done and the things he knows.
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So let’s talk about the things the film does right, because it’s a really short list. Simon Pegg steals every scene, and his performance is the highlight of the film. He manages to be sympathetic, enigmatic and even threatening. The best compliment I can give him is that by the end of the film I forgot that I was watching Simon Pegg, he successfully disappeared into the character. It’s just a shame they gave him a terrible wig to wear for most of the film that frankly elicits sniggers rather than anything else.
The rest of the cast are… fine. The acting won’t win any awards but it’s certainly far from terrible. Connie Nielsen is good as the matriarch of the family, and both Lily Collins and Chace Crawford are fine. Chace and Connie aren’t really given a massive amount to work with but they do a decent job with what they have. Patrick Warburton manages to convey a fair amount of emotion and gravitas as Archer with his limited screentime, given that he dies in the first couple of minutes of the film and almost everything else is in flashback.
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The biggest issue this film has is that, frankly, nobody’s motivations make much sense. At all. It’s quickly established that the relationship between father and daughter is adversarial to say the least. Like, really adversarial. Why she would do anything that her father asks her to do is just… it doesn’t make much sense. And when she learns about Morgan, her reaction to him doesn’t make a lot of sense. And Morgan himself, his actions towards of the film DON’T MAKE A LOT OF SENSE. Heck, even Archer’s actions don’t really make a lot of sense. I’m being deliberately vague here as I don’t really want to spoil the end as it’s one of the few things the film does well.
I’ve seen a lot of other reviews slate this film, but for me it’s just utterly forgettable and that’s a shame. Simon Pegg deserves better than this. He shows here that he can do more than comedy or action, he can be more than just the quirky, nerdy kind of guy as he has been in the Abrams Star Trek franchise, or the Mission Impossible series, but this film isn’t going to do much to further his career. It’s slow, it’s boring, it’s ultimately so mind-numbingly mediocre that it won’t leave much of a lingering impression on anyone who watches it.
One to watch only for Simon Pegg, but even his performance isn’t enough to recommend this film. Inheritance isn’t worth purchasing, and even for streaming it’s definitely one for when you’ve run out of everything else on your watchlist.
Inheritance is out on DVD and Digital HD on 6th July from Signature Entertainment.