A tense and intricate web of deceit and betrayal entangles Archie, a wandering grifter who is hired by a traveling carnival owner to murder his beautiful wife, Divana, only to be seduced into acting as her accomplice. He tries to fake the murder and collect his payment, but is double-crossed and framed for the crime. On the run, and believing Divana dead, he chances upon her in New Orleans where he discovers the fake murder was just a diversion for her and the carney owner to steal a quarter of a million dollars in laundered casino money. In a seductive play for trust fueled by passion, Divana convinces Archie to take part in a new plot to steal the casino money and start a new life. In a twisted finale he discovers the true meaning of double-cross in a deadly collision of money and revenge. Written by
Not having heard of this film, it came as a surprise when it was shown on cable recently. Gary Ellis, the gifted director of "Tough Luck", does wonders with the screen play written by Bill Boatman and Todd King. The film involves the viewer from the start.
Archie, the young hustler at the center of this story, has been involved in all kinds of petty crime. In fact, we witness a confrontation right at the beginning which makes him get out of New Orleans, as fast as he can. He ends up in the carnival that is run by the mysterious Ike. Archie falls for Davina, the woman he should have been wise to stay away from. The result proves a fatal judgment for Archie who then becomes the object of double crossing all around.
The director should be commended by the casting of Norman Reedus, who obviously is loved by the camera. In spite of his nature, one feels for him because we know his heart is in the right place. The beautiful Dagmara Dominczyk is perfect as the exotic dancer Divana who, in spite of being Ike's lover, entices Archie into falling heads over heels with her. Armand Assante is barely understandable with the thick accent he speaks during the first half of the film.
"Tough Luck" shows a new director, Gary Ellis, showing he will go to do bigger and better things because he knows what he is doing.
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