However between the skeletons in characters’ closets and the ghosts of film cliches previous, current and future, “Crisis” is one thing of a horror movie, and never in a great way.
Written and directed by Nicholas Jarecki (“Arbitrage”) — the half brother of acclaimed documentarians Andrew Jarecki (“Capturing the Friedmans,” “The Jinx”) and Eugene Jarecki (“Why We Fight”) — “Crisis” is a star-studded affair that follows three separate ripped-from-the-headlines tales.
First, there’s the foul-mouthed DEA agent (Armie Hammer) making an attempt to reel within the huge fish behind a global opioid-smuggling operation. (His sister, performed by Lily-Rose Depp, is herself an addict.) Then there’s the mom of that lifeless teen (Evangeline Lilly), a recovering painkiller addict and avenging angel who embarks on a vigilante mission to search out and kill the lads she holds chargeable for her son’s demise — one in all whom, in an unsubtle contact, is a bearded Quebecois heavy nicknamed Mom. Lastly, there’s the idealistic however tarnished educational (Gary Oldman, in full, sputtering, declamatory mode), a whistleblower who struggles to show the risks of a lethal new painkiller nearing FDA approval. His résumé consists of outdated innuendoes about alcoholism and sexual harassment.
Rounding out the supporting forged are Michelle Rodriguez as a DEA supervisor; Luke Evans and Martin Donovan as corrupt drug-company executives; rapper-actor Child Cudi as an ineffectual FDA bureaucrat; and Greg Kinnear as a college dean torn between supporting his school’s analysis and taking a fats verify from Massive Pharma for a brand new faculty arts middle.
However neglect the marquee names. This cinematic triple-decker sandwich is so overstuffed with baloney and cheese it ought to come back with a pickle on the facet.
Jarecki, who casts himself as a DEA agent, has clearly chosen a subject that’s value exploring from a number of angles, as Steven Soderbergh did with “Traffic.” However the method taken by “Crisis” to its advanced topic is so apparent as to render something the movie might need so as to add to the dialogue of dependancy, greed or regulation enforcement perfunctory. Regardless of an effort to write down characters as antiheroes who dance dangerously near the sting of the ethical abyss, the performances by Hammer, Lilly and Oldman all really feel, successfully, like cardboard cutouts.
Initially known as “Dreamland,” the much more urgently titled “Crisis” delivers a story — three of them, to be actual, with two on a collision course — that finally fails to fulfill the usual of an emergency. Regardless of a plot involving loads of lawbreaking, the unengaging, even sleepy, goings-on by no means really feel like one thing you’d name 911 about, besides in a single sense: This site visitors jam of a film is a pileup.
R. On the Cinemark Fairfax Nook 14 and XD; obtainable March 5 on numerous streaming platforms.
Incorporates drug materials, violence and crude language all through. 118 minutes.