I only watched the movie Crime Story because a friend of mine from college was in it as an extra. Appearing as an extra in movies like these might help boost some into the local economy, but this movie is so awful, it’s an assault on the tax incentives from the Georgia Film Commission.
Richard Dreyfus in a role that he’s totally out of place in plays Ben Myers, a former crime boss of the Savannah area who’s gone legit in retirement. It may have something to do with his wife, Nan (Megan McFarland) who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s and can’t do certain functions. (Apparently, there’s been a reason trend in movies in which women who suffer from these illnesses lose control of their bladders. Julianne Moore did it in Still Alice and won an Oscar. But I don’t think McFarland will be getting an Oscar nomination. Not because of her role, which is actually not too bad, but poorly written.)
Ben runs a lot of legit businesses now, one of them is a bar he spends most of his time at, where he’s visited by his estranged daughter, Nick (Mira Sorvino in a role that is a painful reminder of what promise she had before that disgusting pig-fucker Harvey Weinstein ruined her career.) She tells him that his other daughter, Sherry (Joanna Walchuk) is in the hospital and the outlook doesn’t look good. Sherry has two boys who need financial help. Ben throws $20,000 in front of her but Nick refuses. He says he’s dying as well from leukemia.
Ben returns home to find his house ransacked and items and money from the safe stolen. Upset and angry, he gets on to Nan (who clearly shouldn’t be left alone) and shoves her into the bathroom where he angrily fires his gun into the door, but not hitting her. Later he tells her he loves her. My guess she was probably abused a lot. It’s hard to sympathize with a character like Ben for scenes like this.
He pulls a video chip from a hidden camera and his simple-minded worker, Tommy (Pruitt Taylor Vince) helps him set it up on the computer at the bar. Recognizing the faces, he goes tracking down the people. And even though he’s more than twice their ages but half their sizes and very sickly, he’s able to get rid of them and find out who’s really behind it all. You don’t have to be a genius to know. As a matter of fact, writer/director Adam Lipsius doesn’t even bother to heighten the suspense some more because there’s no suspense.
Nick is behind it all. And she’s also dealing with security for a Congressmen Billings (D.W. Moffat) who’s seeking re-election after redistricting has given him a higher percentage of Latinx people. Billings is planning a rally at a local church. There’s also some subplot about Billings who had an affair with an Latinx woman, Celina (Alejandra Rivera Flavia) and an illegitimate son, Yonatan (Aiden Malik). Unfortunately, little is done with this and the movie doesn’t resolve the situation.
This feels like it should’ve been a longer story, but even at about an hour and a half, it’s not as interesting for even half an hour. The saddest part is Dreyfuss and Sorvino have both won Oscars but seen their careers fizzled in recent years. Dreyfuss is 74 and he’s not believable at all as a bad guy. He played Vice-President Dick Cheney in W. and was able to portray just enough sinister vibes to play the role perfectly. Sorvino hasn’t had much of a career since Weinstein blacklisted her. Now, that he’s in prison, she should get better roles. Since Elizabeth Holmes is also heading to prison, maybe Sorvino can play her in the inevitable biopic/limited series. Holmes basically copied her Romy voice so she’s got that part of the role down good.
But this movie is a waste. I guess Lipsius, like so many filmmakers, sought to exploit the tax incentives of Georgia to get this movie made. But it doesn’t feel like a movie. It plays more like a TV movie. My guess was that Dreyfuss and Sorvino had to make some quick money. Crime Story was shot pre-Covid in 2019. I’m sure it would’ve been better for everyone if this wasn’t released.
What to do you think? Please comment.