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Genre: Crime/Thriller
Starring: Willa Ford, Angus Macfadyen, Robert Moloney
Director: Charles T. Kanganis
Rating: M18 (Sexual, Violence & Nudity)
Year Made: 2008







Languages: English/French
Subtitles: English/Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 41 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Origin Entertainment
Official Website:




Claire Dennison (Willa Ford TV's "Dancing with the Stars") is a beautiful sensuous woman desperate to arouse her husband's desires. She devises a fantasy role-play game hoping to put the spark back into their marriage. She sets the scene and her husband takes the bait...or does he? So consumed with desire the passion enthralls her but it's not long before Claire realizes she's playing a dangerous game of seduction with someone so familiar yet completely unknown. Desperate to end the affair she tells the stranger the game is over but for him it's just begun.


With captions like “Love Hurts, Lust Kills” and “Her desire for passion ignited a deadly game of seduction” plastered on the DVD, one can already foresee the amount of cheesiness (and sex) to be expected in Impulse. (No offense to the copywriter, but captions like that can be easily used to describe most of the porn movies.)

And I wasn’t wrong.

The opening sequences testify to the strong prevalence of sex: a conundrum of tastefully done shots of hands moving, caressing thighs and chests. A wide shot shows three naked ladies sitting near a pool, and a photographer, donning black eyeliner and nail polish like how all “emo” artistic people do (stereotype alert!), throwing a hissy fit over some production error.

We soon find out that this is actually a photo shoot for a campaign for Japanese coffee (which doesn’t make sense, but hey, small plot-hole here, so... forgivable!) and Claire Dennison (Willa Ford) is at the helm of this major project that isn’t going so smoothly. Like ALL successful career women, Claire happens to be linguistically endowed, and even with the presence of a hired translator (what for, you may ask), she promptly sprouts fluent Japanese only at the crucial moment.

Of course, the stereotyping doesn’t end there. Beautiful Claire’s sex life is also getting monotonous, and she heeds the advice of an acquaintance at a party to dress up, role-play to spice things up a little. It also so happens that she’s married to a bespectacled older man, Jonathan (Angus MacFadyen), a meek white-collared psychiatrist working in a state hospital who is a mite too traditional and loves to therorise everything – including their sex life.

As such, her role-playing fiasco backfires tremendously, but all ends well with the couple having a philosophical conversation about “passion”, “thrills” and an eponymous “Roberto”, who is described by Jonathan as a certain Italian gentleman who would “do all kinds of very bad things to” Claire.

Days passed and after a work trip, alone at a hotel bar and unable to contact Jonathan, she notices a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to her husband – except he doesn’t wear his hair in a stiff, gelled manner, he’s not wearing spectacles and instead of the usual dowdy monochrome suits, he’s dressed in a trendy, albeit flamboyant fashion. She promptly mistakes him for her husband playing the indifferent and experimental “Roberto”, and falls into a raunchy game of seduction… until she finds out (in a pivotal and extremely amusing scene) that they are really just two different people.

Of course, “Roberto” whose real name is Simon Philips (Angus MacFadyen) become royally pissed after being tossed aside by Claire. He suddenly becomes psychotically obsessed with her, to the point of flooding her online chat messenger with “love you-s” (screen name: Roberto3451, how original), kidnapping and assuming Jonathan’s identity (but miraculously, still stays flamboyantly attired).
I must say I am a huge fan of the psychological thriller genre (well, the synopsis seemed to fit the bill), and if there’s seediness or sex thrown into the mixture, it’s fine by me as long as the whole concoction is mixed the right way. However, Impulse is a B-grade soft porn movie layered over a B-grade movie layered over a trashy romance/sexual/thriller movie. In other words, it’s crap, and a lot of it.

It is chockfull of clichés (heck, the whole movie is one big cliché), cheesy one-liners out of which most are also crude sexual innuendos (“One moment you are in, the next, you are out”), mindless sex – I swear like half of the time, the lead’s bountiful chest is exposed –, plot-holes, and stereotypes (see above).

I guess if executed the right way, which means turning three notches down on the cheesiness, tearing the original script into shreds and revamping everything, ah yes, Impulse might have been a success. Oh and well not forgetting, recasting.

Oh and I forgot to mention: the last few events leading up to the predictable ending are so moronic and full of plot-holes that I wouldn’t even bother mentioning them. Go spoil them for yourself if you are brave enough.

Bottom line: Impulse sucks.


Nothing interesting offered in this department, other than an assortment of 10 preview trailers featuring flicks ranging from The Tattooist, Untraceable, Cleaner to What Love is. Also included: a short clip on how “Blu-Ray is High Definition”. Pretty abysmal extras given that the former can be downloaded or watched off the Internet, and the latter is given in almost every DVD anyway.


Nothing out of the box in the audio and visual department except the usual Dolby Digital and Anamorphic Widescreen presentation.


(Impulse Hurts, Impulse Kills)


(Doesn’t even include basic special features like interviews or outtakes)

Review by Casandra Wong


Other titles from Origin Entertainment:

. Vantage Point

. First Sunday

. The Shepherd: Border Patrol

. Conspiracy

. Cleaner

. Hero Wanted

. Shattered

. Breath

. Cashback

. Your Name Is Justine

. Death Sentence

. The Jane Austen Book Club

. Across The Universe

. The Triplets of Belleville

. The Ten Commandments

. CJ7

. Love Lies Bleeding

. Living Death

. La Vie En Rose

. Urban Justice

. Perfect Stranger

. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

. Reign Over Me

. Surf's Up

. 5ivegirls

. Vacancy

. Paprika

. Walking Tall: Lone Justice

. Dead Mary

. Spider-Man 3

. Priceless

. Trust the Man

. The Contractor

. Blood And Chocolate

. The Wicker Man

. Wind Chill

. Are We Done Yet?

. Android Apocalypse

. Elizabeth I

. The Proposition

. 3 Needles

. Ghost Rider

. The Pursuit of Happyness

. The Illusionist

. Catch & Release


This review is made possible with the kind support from Origin Entertainment


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