“Poker Face” – A Review of the Thriller Starring Russell Crowe
Russell Crowe stars as a tech billionaire named Jake Foley in the new thriller “Poker Face.” The movie follows Jake as he arranges an eccentric sendoff for himself, giving his profession as a gambler to a would-be portrait painter. Despite the anxiety his character feels, Crowe gives a comfortable and lived-in performance that is not one of his most virtuosic, but still enjoyable to watch.
The movie opens with Crowe’s character in his teenage years, learning to play and win at cards with his best friends. It is later revealed that Jake’s fortune came from surveillance software developed from his computer gaming programs. Jake visits a man named Shaman Bill, played by Jack Thompson, and is given a truth serum that will come into play later in the film. Jake offers his old friends a choice to take a million-dollar car or risk five million in chips in a poker match, but it’s not a conventional one. One of the friends is a liar, the other a blackmail victim, and the third, played by Liam Hemsworth, is a suicidal addict.
However, a trio of armed robbers is on its way to the house to steal some of the rare art. Jake and his friends end up in the house’s panic room, armed only with an automatic pistol with one bullet. They must wait out the heavily armed robbers while also dealing with the arrival of Jake’s second wife and teen daughter.
“Poker Face” tries to be many things at once – a contemplation of mortality, a revenge puzzle, and a captivity thriller. The film, written by Crowe and Stephen M. Coates, aims to deliver the Unified Theory of the Good or At Least Redeemable Billionaire, but it falls short. The movie has its fun moments, but the screenplay is an incoherent mess that fails to bring its different elements together cohesively.
In conclusion, “Poker Face” is now available for rent on Amazon Prime and other platforms, but it is not recommended. The movie has a confusing plot, with relevance in only a few scenes, and it fails to deliver the thrilling and cohesive experience it aims to provide. It may be worth watching for Crowe’s performance, but there are certainly better ways to spend your money.