An enigmatic tale of four people whose lives are intertwined by destiny are subject to the laws of fate. They discover that luck is something they cannot afford to be without as they gamble... See full summary »
The movie is based on the infamous "Stanford Prison Experiment" conducted in 1971. A makeshift prison is set up in a research lab, complete with cells, bars and surveillance cameras. For ... See full summary »
A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.
An enigmatic tale of four people whose lives are intertwined by destiny are subject to the laws of fate. They discover that luck is something they cannot afford to be without as they gamble with the highest stakes possible in a deadly game from which only one of them will emerge intact. There is Tomas, a young thief and the sole survivor of a horrific plane crash; Federico, who survived a massive earthquake and discovered he has the power to rob those around him of their good fortune with a touch; Sam, a casino owner who is the ultimate survivor after losing everything but his own life in the terrible conflagration that enveloped Europe during the Second World War; and Sara, a policewoman who walked away from a car crash that killed her family and becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth behind a clandestine gambling ring where death and luck intermingle. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The film crew could not get permission for filming from a helicopter in the National Park of "Las Cañadas del Teide", so they used a remote controlled mini-helicopter. See more »
The first time wee see the Russian roulette 5-bullet variation, in Ucanca, when Samuel picks up the revolver then slides out the cylinder to spin it, he does it in a way that would have caused all bullets to fall off, yet none does. That would have been impossible. See more »
A vague concept and some nice set pieces do not cover a lack of logic, tension or narrative cohesion
For us "normal" people luck comes in streaks of good and bad, sometimes we have rotten luck, sometimes we fluke something and sometimes miracles happen. However for some people "luck" is a gift that is always with them but can be lost with the touch of another person with the same gift. When Federico is stripped of his gift by Samuel, a survivor of the concentration camps, he sets out to find another gifted as he was and use him as a way back into the series of games they play. He finds Tomas the only survivor or a massive airplane crash that killed over 230 others. However, when Tomas flees his hospital bed he is pursued by a police officer, haunted by the loss of her husband and son, who also has the gift.
This film opens with a cool sense of atmosphere with people wearing hoods, long corridors, mysterious characters and so on, providing it with a good start but not one it builds on. That it manages to continue with a good visual style and a cool thriller atmosphere is what I will give it credit for but to me these are not enough to make this film work. The plot is very little more than a basic premise, which, although it acted as a very interesting hook, failed to serve anything in the way of substance or narrative up. The plot lacks logic and it relies on a series of reasonably good set pieces (the games) to keep the interest in the film up I can see why Hollywood has bough the rights to remake it because it does have style and, if it gets a big name and a thriller director, the lack of substance shouldn't worry too many execs. The ending is good but by that point I wasn't feeling all that involved in the film and it had missed its chance to really get me on board.
In many ways the film reminded me of "Lucky Star", which some may remember was an advert pretending to be a trailer for a film about a man with impossible luck (played by Del Toro and directed by Michael Mann) but I thought the advert did it better. The characters are also pretty thin; I expected them to be complex and interesting considering the plot, but they were tools more than people. With this in mind, the cast actually did OK with what they have. Sbaraglia was a good presence with a good range; Poncela was coolly mysterious; Lopez was passionate and held the attention, but von Sydow just seems to be off in his own film somewhere, just filling time with the second unit director until the rest of the cast meet up with him.
Overall this has a concept that will bring many too it, but it doesn't do anything with it and it never really managed to get a good, involving story built up around it nor create characters to be held by. It is not terrible though, just hollow and unsatisfying a few set pieces and consistently stylish direction and atmosphere all add value but this will be one time when I'm actually looking to a Hollywood remake to be an improvement.
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