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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Crisis 2021 * * * 1/2 Stars


2021's Crisis is my latest write-up. Loved the movie but didn't quite dig the title. Sorry but it's kinda generic.

So yeah, Crisis is probably the best vehicle of the year so far. As pilled drug fodder, it's slick, it pulsates with energy, and it features performances by Armie Hammer, Gary Oldman, and Evangeline Lilly that really cook (no pun intended).

Crisis is like a re-update of stuff akin to Traffic and 2005's Crash. And although it has a more direct-to-video feel than those two films, its tight editing, inching revelations, and dejected outcomes still demand your attention as a viewer.

The director of Crisis is Nicholas Jarecki (Arbitrage, The Outsider). He's also the producer, co-star, and chief writer. Is Crisis a cinematic ego trip for the 41-year-old New York-er? Maybe. Is it a good ego trip? I'm not sure that's possible but yeah. With Crisis, Jarecki is not trying to be a far-reaching, revolutionary helmer. He's just trying to be well, Nicholas Jarecki.

Harboring a known cast and using locations such as Montreal and Detroit, the story of Crisis is actually three stories that start to bounce off each other at the hour mark. One has to do with a vengeful mother whose son dies of narcotics. Another has to do with a federal agent involved in the smuggling of Fentanyl and one more has to do with a professor who disapproves of a pain killer about to hit the open market. All of this is set to the opioid epidemic that spanned a good eighteen years.

Crisis for its crime genre, doesn't use overlapping dialogue in the styling-s of Robert Altman. And it's not quite Paul Haggis preachy. Finally, there's no jittery camerawork or trickery a la Steven Andrew Soderbergh. Crisis is basically meat and potatoes film-making made to order. It's only a "setback" if you want it to be.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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