Promising Beginning To Director's Feature Film Portfolio Requires Only Better Technical Elements.
Creative young director Stefan Avalos, here with his initial feature film effort, avoids many clichés that clog archetypal crime-themed "thrillers" and it is more than likely that, with an increase in funding as well as improved distribution, this work may well have attracted a larger audience to view its dark narrative that sadly is conjugate in its Stygian nature with murky visuals accorded it for most of its available prints. Although it becomes an uneasy amalgam of several cinematic genres, the film's opening scene is particularly engaging for the director's essay at depicting an ensemble performance (including ad libbing) drawn from a somewhat inexperienced array of players cast as members of an informally arranged poker playing "club" that is being utilized by one of them, Mitch (Mark Gorman), for a student film-making assignment. As poker ante for this film within a film, Mitch has utilized fake greenbacks, created by a friend upon an outrageously fanciful computer, and when one of the gambling band, Lou (Stephen Wastell), passes some of the fake bills to local merchants as a lark, his unexpected success provides the two young men with courage to attempt additional such illicit activity after requisitioning a larger supply of counterfeit paper currency from their private printer. They initially make smooth headway in their newly-minted life of crime, but are suddenly propelled into dangerous circumstances because of their computer savvy confederate, who talks too much and to the wrong people, the outcome being that Mitch and Lou find themselves yoked with an uninvited partner, Laney (Margaret Lamonica), who ostensibly is connected with a number of organized crime individuals. Holes in the storyline relative to logic and continuity plague the script as the work advances, one million cash dollars in stolen illegal drug profit money being linchpin to an ongoing endeavour by Lou and Mitch to dissever themselves from their unwanted accomplice, despite Mitch's having slipped into romantic involvement with Laney, this only complicating an already perilous situation. Clearly hamstrung by limited resources, the production, in spite of its general tenor as an eccentric melodrama, supplies promise for future ventures, principally by director Avalos who subsequently earns plaudits for his digital film ventures, and by Wastell, who handily garners the acting honours with a nicely layered performance that correctly serves the shifting needs of the scenario.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this