An enigmatic tale of four incredibly lucky people whose lives are intertwined by destiny are subject to the laws of fate. They discover that they cannot afford to be without luck as they ...
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An enigmatic tale of four incredibly lucky people whose lives are intertwined by destiny are subject to the laws of fate. They discover that they cannot afford to be without luck as they gamble with the highest stakes possible in a deadly game.Written by
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You wanna play against me? You have no chance. Your gift is not strong enough!
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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.
33 of 45 people found this review helpful.
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