Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5
Director: Paul Rachman
Producer: Steven E. Hoffman, Matt Salinger
Sure 'nuff, I never could have expected the day when Olivia Williams (Rushmore) and Balthazar Getty (Shadow Hours) would appear in the same film -- much less play lovers. And in fact, the rest of 4 Dogs Playing Poker is just as improbable, with Tim Curry(!) leading four young and aspiring art thieves on a caper in Argentina, only to blow it by failing to ensure the loot is shipped to the man (Forest Whitaker) who comissioned the gig. Our young heroes find themselves in a bind, as Curry gets snuffed and they are asked to pay up $1 million for the objet d'art gone missing. Their plan: insure each of their lives for a mil, then secretly and randomly assign one of the four to kill another, thus collecting the payoff fee.
Well, films have been based on worse premises (like, you know, Shadow Hours), but the strange ensemble presented here makes the movie oddly compelling. It's hard to pick any character that you actually want to survive -- they could all get snuffed as far as I cared -- but at least the ride the take is reasonably fun. While the film would like to be compared to Shallow Grave, but these Dogs have nowhere near the style or the unexpected plot twists that Grave has. (You'll have this one figured out from the get-go.) But hey, if there's nothing better to be found at the Blockbuster, well, this just might do.
Aka Four Dogs Playing Poker.