We keep hearing about how proud financier Archer Monroe (Patrick Warburton) is of his eldest,Manhattan district attorney Lauren Monroe (Lily Collins, "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile"), but upon his untimely death, she seems unsurprised when $20 million is left to brotherWilliam (Chace Crawford, TV's 'Gossip Girl') and only $1 million set aside for her. Then her dad’s lawyer Harold (Michael Beach) pulls her aside to give her an envelope that contains the rest of her “Inheritance.”
Laura's Review: C
The equivalent of a cheesy airport thriller, “Inheritance” gives Simon Pegg an opportunity to play outside his usual lines, but neophyte Matthew Kennedy’s script serves red herrings and abandoned trails as it sets us up for a big reveal that skids seriously off the rails. Director Vaughn Stein keeps us entertained and intrigued enough for the film’s first half, but even here uneven acting (Crawford) and worrisome signposts signal trouble ahead.
In a breakneck montage of pre-credit exposition (a device used again later in the film), we learn that Lauren is a DA whose brother is running for Congress and has been accused of paying off union officials. She is advised that her father is dead by reporters during a press conference.
The family’s wealth is on display as they gather at the sprawling Monroe estate. Flashback snippets reveal Archer demanded high achievement yet was disappointed his daughter became a civil servant rather than a rainmaker and also disapproved of her marriage to Scott (Marque Richardson, "Dear White People"), an African American whose last name is also Monroe (?). When Lauren opens his envelope, she finds a thumb drive and a set of keys. Dear old dad reveals that he is heavy hearted to leave her with what he’s about to leave her and that she will find it out by her old fort. Moving aside false forest flooring out in the woods, Lauren unlocks a steal door which leads to an underground bunker. Down a hallway is a room housing Morgan Warner (Simon Pegg), a man manacled around his neck who claims to have been kept for thirty years.
Lauren is horrified, but also terrified about what this discovery will mean to her remaining family, especially mom Catherine (Connie Nielsen). As she teases out his story, Lauren will have to grapple with her own morality. But there are questions which are never asked, such as why dad was such a sadist he taunted this man with the yearly promise of one square of chocolate. There are loose ends like a detective friend sent off with fingerprints and red herrings like a mistress who looks more like Lauren than her own mother.
In the end, a brother’s misdeed, a messy murder scene and a Morgan’s intriguing repetition of the ingredients for key lime pie amount to nothing, even after a recipe for said dessert is slipped to our heroine. “Inheritance” promises a windfall but squanders it all in a chaotic conclusion. Simon Pegg’s interesting work deserved better.