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A chemist, university researcher barely earning a living, is fired. After meeting a student of his, he learns the street value of drugs. He then designs a "non-illegal" drug and starts selling it with a group of friends, PhD holders working menial jobs and underpaid. Things get complicated when they earn too much money, get noticed, and their business is frowned-upon by a big drug dealer named "Murena"...Written by
Breaking Bad meets Bid Deal on Madonna St.: very uneven
This is the same premise as Breaking Bad (or Weeds), boasting an effective social commentary, only to wrap it all in a comedy. This simple pitch says everything about its big flaw: it wants to have a smart and serious basis but also be a light comedy about aloof kingpins.
From the very start there is a rhythm issue. It takes too long to get to the nitty-gritty. In the end the movie would greatly benefit from a 20 minutes trim (to bring it closer to the ideal comedy length of 85min). The main character is fine though, we want to root for him and his life is adequately depicted. But soon after he gathers his team of aloof scholars the movie keeps stepping back and forth between social commentary and dimwitted comedy.
From there the main character gets lost in the mix and the script complacently deals a couple of tired jokes about our clueless free-riding kingpins. Then they just patch a sorry ending to close the whole venture, without style, without flair. The exact opposite of the joyful social satire advertised. Actually snooty critics claim 'I Soliti Ignoti' (Big Deal on Madonna Street) is the comedic reference whereas it ends up much closer to The Hangover...
Very disappointing indeed, although some parts ring true thanks to a fine cast. Obviously they didn't really know which story they were going to tell.
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