2 items from 2014
The ’80s are back in cheap, imitative and soulless form with “Down and Dangerous,” a low-budget, Kickstarter-backed drug thriller from writer-director Zak Forsman. Relying on a synthesized score, over-saturated cinematography and frustratingly cliched dialogue, this is an extremely generic, truly empty tale of a drug smuggler involved with cops and criminals alike. Despite some initial teases in shot composition, nothing much sticks out beyond the generalities at play. It’s hard to believe the film will find much of an audience beyond its social-media backers.
The project’s weird background perhaps explains some of the limitations: Forsman’s father, Robert Sabbag, authored a 1998 memoir titled “Snowblind: A Brief Career in the Cocaine Trade,” which was promptly bought for movie adaptation but has yet to make it to the screen. Unable to license the rights, Forsman instead crafted this original story made in his father’s honor, although there’s hardly anything original about it. »
- Peter Labuza
Writer-director Zak Forsman's pulpy caper about a principled, immaculately bearded cocaine smuggler trying to outwit a crooked, fabulously bearded DEA agent channels decades of morally murky Los Angeles crime flicks from To Live and Die in L.A. to Heat to Drive.
But it's got a few sharp moves of its own, particularly when it digs into the ingenious how-to of sneaking contraband across the Mexican border.
Cinematographer Addison Brock III makes the golden days and swimming-pool-blue nights look stylish and expensive, and Deklun's synthy score pulses with phony but attractive urgency.
Things get wobbly when our lone-wolf smuggler (John T. Woods — the name matches the beard) forsakes his characteristic meticulousness to partner up with »
2 items from 2014
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