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film reel image

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Paydirt 2020 * 1/2 Stars


"I got you". Yup, and I got to see a crime thriller that barely finds the 80-minute mark. Why am I not surprised.

Anyway a chrome domed, criminal mastermind gets out of jail. After checking in with his parole officer, he gathers his old crew to find buried money that was left over from an unsuccessful DEA run in. That's the layout of the scorched, strewed, and dopey Paydirt (my latest review).

Paydirt, with its Brian A. Miller-style shootouts, its twists that feel too built-in, and its "beam me up, Scotty" locales between California and Mexico, is yet another flick where the characters talk tough while acting like complete morons. 

Part Guy Ritchie, part Smokin' Aces, and part Ocean's Eleven (all the bad parts mind you), the film has a nifty title and a decent amount of screen presence from star Luke Goss. Other than that, Paydirt can't really "hit" anything.

Paydirt is directed by an actual restaurateur (Christian Sesma) and features co-star Val Kilmer having his lines dubbed due to his current bout with throat cancer (get well Val). Sesma gives Paydirt the usual direct-to-video look coupled with binding flashbacks and freeze-frame title cards. 

Sesma's script (if that's what you wanna call it) causes his lofty actors to childishly banter. They come off like tooled eighth graders. The phrase "game-time" is said numerous times in Paydirt and while it doesn't receive drinking game status, it's still pretty annoying. 

I said earlier that Paydirt has the elements of stuff akin to directors Ritchie, Joe Carnahan, and Steven Soderbergh. The problem is that Christian Sesma riffs on them without having a true voice of his own. As an ego tripper via writer, producer, and helmer, his film-making style is shine on shine without "paying" it forward. There's no "reward" here from watching Paydirt.  

Written by Jesse Burleson

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