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film reel image

Monday, April 15, 2019

Crypto 2019 * * Stars

CryptoDirector: John Stalberg, Jr.
Year: 2019
Rated R
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Beau Knapp, Kurt Russell, Alexis Bledel

"When I see things like this, I get pretty worried". When I the critic see a movie like the one I'm about to review, I wrack my brain a little. No joke.

Anyway, a financial banker named Martin Duran, Jr., uncovers corruption and theft via the Russian mafia in his New York hometown (I think it was Upstate Albany they were talking about). Beau Knapp plays Duran, Jr. with a disciplined screen presence, a sneering look, and one of the most baleful voices in the history of acting. Yup, that's the essence of 2019's Crypto, my latest write-up. Oh and don't adjust your eyes, the movie poster for Crypto is not the same one as 1999's Simpatico. Nick Nolte, Jeff Bridges, and Kurt Russell do kind of look alike though.

Image result for crypto 2019 movie scenesDistributed by Grindstone Entertainment Group and co-starring another Hemsworth (that would be first-born Luke), Crypto is a great title for a vehicle that doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Weird sound editing, fuzzy characters that fade in and out, random dispatches, arbitrary overhead shots with cars, and a self-serious film score only enhance that notion.

Structurally, Crypto is a techno thriller without the high-tech, a muted drama without the "Dramamine", a crime conundrum without a defining crime. Novel director John Stalberg Jr. fashions Crypto as Boiler Room meets 1984's Country. Heck, you could even throw in 1987's Wall Street meets The Astronaut Farmer if you wanna get creative.

Image result for crypto movie scenesBottom line: Crypto has a slight amount of suspense, a minuscule budget that shows (despite the lead wearing $10,000 suits), and a zest for the form of cash known as Bitcoin. Why legend Kurt Russell decided to sign on to this ode to coded, Slavic secrets is anybody's guess. Yeah I'm gonna say nae to this "tale from the Crypt-o". Rating: 2 stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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