Inheritance review – a new thriller starring Lily Collins and Simon Pegg

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Lily Collins and Simon Pegg headline the thriller Inheritance, that’s now available on demand – and here’s our review of the movie.

A nice smattering of ingredients here: a very rich man who dies suddenly; his son, who’s fighting a major re-election campaign; a daughter, battling the good fight in court, trying to take down the powerful and refusing to settle; and his wife, quietly trying to hold a powerful family together. Add to this, as the movie’s title suggests, the small matter of the rich man’s will and a big secret or two to unlock.

At the heart of Inheritance sits the introduction of Simon Pegg’s Morgan Warner and the tension his character generates. Warner is very much the buried secret, and brings with him a collection of questions. Who is he, what’s his link to everything, and – bluntly – is he friend or foe? Also, who did his hair? It’s up to Lauren, the late old man’s daughter, to do most of the unravelling. She’s played really well by Lily Collins, who brings earnest investment to the role, and proves a more than able co-lead. Pegg gets the more showy part and is clearly having a ball and brings good value – boasting a wig that comfortably scores an eight, and wavering between quiet moments and jolts.

It’s in the tête-à-têtes between Collins and Pegg where the film is at its finest, as Matthew Kennedy’s scripts affords them space for some long scenes together, that the two actors really deliver on. The rest of the screenplay, though, gets heavily bogged down. Time is invested in setting up the election campaign subplot and Lauren’s hugely important court case, but both are given surprisingly little shrift later on. Likewise, characters around the periphery of the story don’t seem to serve much purpose in the end at all. A bigger problem for me, though, is its over-reliance on score. The music is perfectly sound, but feels ever-present, and there are moments where I just wished it would pause to allow the drama on the screen to do more of the lifting. As it is, the tempo of the score is too busy signposting things set to happen, and undercutting key moments when they actually do come to pass.

It’s a pity, because – whilst it leaves sizeable plot questions in its wake – Inheritance is well made and amiably entertaining. The core dynamic between the two leads makes it worth seeking out, but much of it falls a little short. This isn’t helped by an over-deployment of music so loudly present that I’d question whether it trusts viewers to react to the film themselves without being heavily steered.

It’s certainly not a movie to be dismissed. Just one that, from the outside looking in, could have used a bit more tuning.


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