Crisis is actually 3 narratives with a common theme – opiods. Opiod is a kind of drug that is used in certain medication to treat pain. It is also widely misused in the USA as a kind of opium to addicts. We have here, a story about an undercover cop attempting to catch a big time opiod drug trafficker between the Canada and USA border, another about a mother who loses her son to an overdose of this drug, and a third about a University research scientist’s fight to prevent a big pharmaceutical to market a drug with dangerous opiod additive risks. The film’s opening scenes states that it is “inspired by true events” to give credence and importance to its stories.
I generally do not like films with multiple plots running concurrently, as it usually takes away the focus of the film. I always felt it works better in a TV mini series format rather than on a full length movie. Happily, director and writer, Nicholas Jarecki manages to keep things interesting while juggling between the 3 plots, without losing his audience. Thanks in part to a stellar cast he had assembled which includes Armie Hammer, Evangeline Lilly (the Wasp in Antman and the Wasp), Gary Oldman, Greg Kinnear, Michelle Rodriguez and Luke Evans! Having 3 stories running concurrently also means that there is no time to get bored as each story has a compelling story to tell. In fact, each of these story could very well have been a movie on its own. Perhaps this has conversely made the movie seem rushed and robbed it of the opportunity to provide a more impactful outcome. We are not given enough screen time to be able to connect to the characters’ motivations and psyche. As it is Crisis comes across as an interesting watch but one that I suspect could have been better conceived were it given more time, perhaps in a limited mini series for TV.
Plot and acting aside, the film also has a better than average production values with greater details given to the sound effects, and engaging camera work. The films’ opening sequence for example, which was shot in the snow covered US/Canada border was beautifully captured and looked and sounded like something out of a far bigger scale movie.
Finally, I do think the film’s title could have been better and more imaginative than its forgettable “Crisis”.