Joe Barton, Michael Pearce
Riz Ahmed, Octavia Spencer, Lucian-River Chauhan
Rated: Rated R for language and some violence
Malik Khan (Riz Ahmed) is a decorated Marine that discovers a mysterious government secret that endangers his entire family. He goes on a rescue mission with his two young sons where the boys will have to become adults and survive the oncoming threat. This will be a shorter review due to the fact that there’s too many things that I cannot reveal and I want to preserve that. What I can say is this ‘Encounter’ doesn’t really measure up to its premise but can still surprise you if you like the direction it takes.
Riz Ahmed is a terrific actor and I love the more he is featured in films like ‘The Sound of Metal’. I believe ‘Encounter’ could have the potential driving force to give Ahmed a nomination for best actor, had the story been as engaging as his performance. A lot of the film is improvised dialogue to preserve the realness of the situation. With that being said not only is Ahmed great but the two sons played by Lucian-River Chauhan and Aditya Geddada also hold their own and feel completely real. Another great supporting performance comes from Octavia Spencer, who’s character is torn with the idea of failing in her career through misreading a critical issue, but how to resolve the problem cause by what she missed.
The story is just too reliant on improvisational dialogue and underdeveloped ideas to make it completely engaging through its runtime. There’s suspense, but it rings more hollow than emotional until the very end of the film which I did salvage the conclusion. I don’t think it’s a bad film, but it also isn’t one I see showing anyone but the performances are strong enough I can give it a light recommendation.