Film Review – Crisis

Crisis (MA)

Directed by: Nicholas Jarecki

Starring: Gary Oldman, Armie Hammer, Evangeline Lilly

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Big pharma is corrupt, whistle-blowers take huge risks and put their lives on the line, and kids are being exploited by drug gangs are just some familiar but important messages that filmmaker Nicholas Jarecki wants to remind us of with Crisis.

Three lives parallel and intersect during the opioid epidemic: recovering oxycodone addict Claire Reimann (Evangeline Lilly) investigates her teenage son’s mysterious death which leads her to a Fentanyl smuggling operation which has been infiltrated by undercover FBI agent Jake Kelly (Armie Hamer), who is under immense pressure to take down the leader called Mother (Guy Nadon).

Meanwhile, University Professor Dr. Tyrone Brower discovers the latest drug about to hit the market produced by a multi-billion dollar company that heavily funds his employer is three times as addictive as it is purported to be and risks all to go public.

If all the above sounds familiar, that’s because it is. There is a strong sense of deja vu and there isn’t much in the way of new information, creative plot points or original character arcs in Crisis’ story. In fact it often plays like a greatest hits throwback to 1990s dramas, though it does serve as a timely reminder of the horrors that go on surrounding drug manufacturing.

After all, it has been a hot minute since The Insider (1999) and Traffic (2000).

Despite a standard script that has its characters go through the motions, the cast makes the most of it. Oldman gives one of his most down to earth performances, and it is nice to finally see Lilly in a non Marvel and Hobbit venture for once.

Without any genuine surprises along the way, the main point of interest as it all unfolds is when and how these lives will intersect, or their stories will be resolved, and on that level, Crisis is satisfying.

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