Viewed – 20 March 2013 Blu-ray
Brad Pitt has been out of the spotlight of late, what with his rocky relationships and unsightly beards … but I was glad to hear of this crime thriller, with the Pitster (yes, I just said that) sporting a goatee, slicked back hair and shades … and basically being a bad-ass. Shame then I suppose that it takes quite some screen time before he actually arrives in this above average thriller.
This follows the story of two wet-behind-the-ears crooks who get given the task of robbing a poker game run by the local mob Pitt plays a hit-man hired to step in and figure out who screwed who, and hopefully not ‘wack’ the wrong guy. Add to this small but memorable appearances from Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini, and all the ingredients are here for a decent piece of entertainment.
Set during the Obama / Cain election campaign for some reason, this attempts to be a bit of a commentary on the American way of life, but much of that went over my head. More interested was I in the sharp, engrossing dialogue, good performances and first-rate direction from Andrew Diminik (cult Ozzy film ‘Chopper’) who brings no end of style and panache to proceedings, with some showy camera work and clever use of CGI. This had shades of Martin Scorsese or Michael Mann at times, and the presence of actors from both Goodfellas and TV’s The Sopranos all set the scene perfectly. Sometimes the dialogue drags on a bit and it’s a little lacking in action, but with some infrequent but jolting moments of brutal violence and a good soundtrack I came away suitably impressed.
Verdict: 4 /5
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