2022 for Russell Crowe can hardly be called successful. The actor has not starred in films of the rank of “Gladiator” or “Mind Games” for a long time, and all new films with his participation did not have universal recognition. Even at first glance, an innocent cameo in the fourth “Thor” looks humiliating for such a titan as Crowe. In “Pokerface”, in addition to the main role, he acted as a screenwriter and director. In the review below, we tell why all the efforts of the famous actor turned out to be in vain.
“Pokerface” / Poker Face
Genre crime thriller
Director Russell Crowe
In roles Russell Crowe, Liam Hemsworth, Elsa Pataky, RZA, Matthew Nable
Premiere cinemas, digital services
Graduation year 2022
According to the plot, the fat man Jake Foley gathers his childhood friends in his luxurious mansion for a night of poker with extremely high stakes. It was thanks to this game that the man was able to get rich. But soon everyone present will learn that Jake is suffering from inoperable cancer, and he doesn’t have long to live. So the host arranged an unexpected surprise for his guests.
But that’s not all. In the middle of the card fun, three robbers break into the house, the main one of whom is a very evil grandfather who looks suspiciously like Mel Gibson. Now the evening definitely stops being difficult, and the heroes will have to face the criminals who are taking Jake’s wife and daughter hostage.
First, it should be noted that “Pokerface” was conceived by completely different people in the era of the pandemic. But the circumstances turned out to be such that Russell Crowe almost had to save the project. He quickly rewrote the script, invited several stars and began directing the film himself. Despite the fact that Crowe already has directing experience, such a fast-paced production significantly affected the quality of the film.
The biggest problem with this thriller is the uncertainty and lack of intrigue. At first, it seems like a film about an eccentric rich man who, before his death, decided to test his old friends. Then, with the appearance of robbers, the plot about the confrontation between good guys and bad guys begins. But it was performed at some very primitive level.
“Pokerface” can neither intrigue, nor captivate, nor make you sympathize with the characters. His story begins leisurely, but later it becomes very lively and jumps from one plot line to another. You get the feeling that you start watching a movie about one thing, and end it about something else. From the point of view of a spectacle, the creators also have nothing to offer. Of the entertainment here, only a trip in several luxury cars, beautiful Australian landscapes and a wonderful evening dress with a deep neckline on Elsa Pataky are memorable.
The antagonists do not make an impression either. They resemble the famous trio of swindlers from classic Soviet comedies, because they behave, to put it mildly, not very professionally. Lzhegibson, who shouts a lot and thinks little, stands out especially for his stupidity.
Also, this thriller does not quite understand in which direction it should move. Before viewing, “Pokerface” was seen as a crime story with gambling in a “Wa-bank” type plot with Affleck. It was a far from outstanding project, by the way. But already during the viewing, the film prefers to seem like a psychological drama, where each of the characters has a monologue in the form of a confession. And in the third act, a criminal thriller begins, with robbers, hostages and all that.
But there is a good side to this story. And this is her modest one and a half hour timing. On the one hand, you don’t really have time to understand what is happening, how the final credits begin. But at the same time, the tape has no chance of getting bored or annoying. It passes quickly and leaves nothing behind. Only a sad look at the portrait of Russell Crowe seems to symbolize all the hopelessness of this extremely unsuccessful idea.
the shortness of the story, good actors
weak script, lack of intrigue and suspense, very little action, sharp transitions from one genre direction to another, lack of at least one interesting hero or villain, overall low ambition of the project
“Pokerface” is a very accurate name for this plot, because it perfectly characterizes the state of the viewer from watching. Like the local protagonist, the film is doomed to a sad fate