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Looking at the cast and plot, you’d think this movie would be a cracker. Alas it barely makes it past the starting gate.


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A mish mash of inadequate script, lack of suspension of disbelief in some instances, and bad sound.

Joaquin Phoenix plays Bobby Green, a guy who runs one of Brooklyn’s hottest nightclubs, which is owned by the Russian mob. Unbeknownst to the mobsters, Green is Bobby’s deceased mother’s maiden name. His real surname is Grusinky, whose family are a long line of New York police officer. His father Bert is the deputy chief, and his brother has just been made captain. And guess what? They’re about to take on the Russian mafia.

Director/writer James Gray did a great job with Little Odessa back in ’94, and having Russian grandparents obviously resonates with the themes he has chosen for the few movies he has directed. However, a convoluted script and the actors seemingly going through the motions, doesn’t help his cause, and maybe the need for a script doctor was in order. Don’t get me wrong, he does an adequate job, and all the plot’s bits and pieces do fall together, but in such a random, and at times, unbelievable, manner, you wonder why Phoenix and Wahlberg wanted producer credits – maybe they should have worked a little harder on getting the mix right.

The best performance actor-wise goes to Alex Veodov who plays the Russian mafia underboss with just enough menace to make you realise that being around him is not a good place to be.

 


 

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