Well, let’s get it out of the way: Armie Hammer. The actor’s career freefall – fueled by cannibal kink fascination on social media but underscored by allegations of non-consensual sex, coercion, and abuse – likely led to thatcrisis“(A more appropriate movie title couldn’t be possible) more interest than the disposable crime drama would otherwise have received. But just in case you’re one of the few who wrestles your hands over the film and knows how to separate the art from the artist , don’t worry, the film is poor, Hammer’s performance is unforgettable, and there is no type of reading you can apply to the material that comes close to a meaningful revelation about the actor or the scandal that entangled him The “crisis” you will experience most is the empty gift of spending two completely uneventful hours of your life.
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After the completely appropriate hedge fund drama “arbitrage, ”Writer / Director Nicholas Jarecki turns his attention to the opioid crisis for its second feature with far lesser results. Undeniably inspired by the vast spread of Steven SoderberghDrug epic “TrafficSimilarly, Jarecki unfolds a handful of storylines that are inevitably and very predictably linked. At the helm is Hammer, who plays a determined DEA agent who carries out a high-risk, covert operation to bring down French-Canadian and Armenian pill-poppers in one fell swoop. Sharing Star Billing (and an Executive Producer Credit) is available Gary OldmanEarnest Nerd Mode, as a university professor who discovers the claims made by a major pharmaceutical company that its newest opioid is non-addictive is a bunk. Meanwhile, Evangeline Lilly plays a mother devastated by the shocking death of her teenage son and who sets out to find the truth about what happened to him. If that sounds like a lot of action for just two hours, you’re absolutely right, and it quickly becomes clear that Jarecki is overwhelmed by how little screen time the starry sideline cast offers. Luke Evans (slimy pharmaceutical executive), Michelle Rodriguez (Hammer’s boss), Lily-Rose Depp (Hammer’s drug addict sister and hackneyed plot tool to give his character a purpose) and Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi (wildly miscast as an FDA agent) appears when needed to move things forward but does little to improve the movie’s worn fabric.
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What made Traffic so effective, beyond Soderbergh’s efficiency as a storyteller, was the drama’s willingness to explore the intricacies and hypocrisy of the war on drugs. Jarecki works from his own script and for the most part is not interested in wading into gray areas and drawing clear moral boundaries within which his characters can act. It is all the more shocking and incredulous in those rare moments when they go beyond the precise distinction of good and bad, and Scripture is never strong enough to support these decisions. “The insider“Another movie that reverberates in ‘Crisis’ had a compelling whistleblower in Jeffrey Wigand who was confusing, combative, and paid dire consequences by coming up. In contrast, Oldman’s Jarecki literally lets Dr. Tyrone Brower let the FDA- Googgle the website and hit the whistleblowing section. His conscience and determination to expose the evil pharmaceutical company are never really in doubt, nor is his wife’s support. This scene largely points to the “crisis” as a whole – drama with a righteous and admirable agenda that runs in the best possible way.
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The inelegacy of the film carries over to its technical side. Set in Detroit and Montreal, cameraman Nicolas Bolduc does little to distinguish either city, which is quite an accomplishment considering that it would take every effort to obscure them. The gray weather in the middle of winter doesn’t help and adds another stain to the already flat palette. Even attempting anamorphic photography cannot save an appearance that has more affinity for a network TV movie of the week from a few decades ago. Some action sequences offer the opportunity to breathe life into the trotting narrative. Nonetheless, it is an area that is clearly beyond Jarecki’s depth, as they are mildly or confusingly staged and executed without tension. Even Raphael Reed’s score is anonymous, a final unnamed ingredient in a film that can never find a personality.
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The cast themselves seem to know they are on a lost cause with Oldman, the only actor trying to build something out of so little on the side, giving everything, especially in a few loud, reedy statements-intentional proclamations . Hammer, who is usually best in roles that undermine or ripple his WASP-y personality, tries too, but with little effect as the informally written part could be square-jawed by any other actor. While the rest of the ensemble goes through the moves, “Crisis” can never muster the urgency and energy its namesake needs. [D]