Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Henry (Brian Geraghty) has made his way back to Los Angeles from Poland, or someplace like that, after closing a big deal. Peter (Jonathan Cake), his somewhat older British born partner is in the Range Rover waiting for him. He’s pissed off. If you are going to watch this movie ‘Krews’ you will want to get used to looking at a pissed off Peter. Henry requests Peter stop at a nearby gas station so he can take a leak, which pisses Peter off. I’d probably be pissed off too considering there are tons of restrooms at the airport that Henry could’ve used. But what really pissed Peter off is when he learned that during this trip Henry sunk their loot into Rubles, a currency which completely collapsed while he was flying back home. Oh… is Peter pissed off. No sooner than you can say ‘boo’, thugs Wishbone (Sam Jones III) and Slate (Ty Hodges) carjack these guys and Slate is on that stuff so his decision making is bit flawed, like trying to flee from the LAPD. Without getting all into how it goes down, some really bad stuff happens, Peter has a bullet in his shoulder and Slate won’t be of too much concern anymore but the only thing Peter cares about, despite his serious injuries, is fixing Henry’s screw up before the markets open in the morning. It’s life and death. For real.

So Wishbone, Peter and Henry have formed a tenuous pact, with Henry promising Wishbone a sizeable reward if he helps out. Thus Wishbone takes the duo to the home of his hot big sister Tamara (Faune Chambers), who has some medical training and who is NOT happy about this rude British guy bleeding out on her couch. Plus she has her young daughter in the house and she knows that they are bringing trouble with them. The truth of the matter is that trouble was coming even without Henry and Peter’s unannounced visit.

Still, the task at hand is having Henry log on his iMac, using Tamara’s phone connection and moving some money around to cover up their screw up. Why these big time businessmen are using phone lines to communicate as opposed to 3G networks, considering that even homeless people have 3G or 4G phones is beyond me outside of

the fact that it makes for more conflict in the movies script. Or just hijack somebody’s wireless from the neighborhood since I know they all don’t have WEP encryption. But that’s neither here nor there I imagine.

Then Rebob shows up (Charles Malik Whitfield). Oh… Rebob. Rebob is as ignorant as Peter is rude. Rebob, for disclosures sake, is Tamara’s ex-boyfriend and her babies daddy. He’s also Wishbone’s boss so to speak. Tamara thought she had kicked Rebob out, but Rebob is hard to get rid of, plus it’s his house, Tamara. Besides, Rebob needs the house this late night to lay down a deal that’s going to make him the king of the neighborhood. As soon as Python shows up.

So there’s a lot going on right about now. Peter could really use a doctor and looks to be bleeding out, not that this is stopping him from being rude and pissed off. Rebob keeps grabbing the phone disrupting Henry’s connection that he badly needs to fix his situation. 3G? Peter and Rebob really, really don’t like each other, Peter being rude to Rebob with Rebob in return acting ignorant towards Peter. And Tamara just wants out. And that’s just what we can see because there’s a lot more going on underneath. Observe as people point their guns at each other. That’s a situation that rarely ends well.

What are we to make of director Hilbert Hakim’s social thriller ‘Krews’, which had a few solid elements going for it despite some egregious flaws sprinkled throughout the narrative? A big time businessman trying to a make a monster deal over the phone lines is a flaw, I don’t care what anybody says. The majority of this film takes place in this one small house, and mostly in the living room of this one small house and thus is largely dialog driven, which is one of this films strengths. Everyone has a ‘krew’ so to speak in this film, each crew engaged in some sort of suspect transaction, just the social strata is a little different.

One of these solid elements was the performances put forth by the talented cast that Hakim was able to assemble for his film. True enough, You’re going to be hard pressed to find anybody to like in this film, including the beautiful Faune Chambers and her put upon character of Tamara who we would’ve thought to be most sympathetic character in this film, but the acting performances are very good. Some of the situations are a bit disingenuous, for instance Peter the rude British fellow’s insistence on consistently insulting Rebob. The things that Peter was saying were fascinating, on top of being true in his opinion of Rebob, but one would think survival would be the order of the day, not incessantly insulting the guy… whose lacking the good sense God gave him… holding a gun to his head. I don’t think that would happen. In reality Rebob would’ve shot that guy ages ago. Charles Malik Whitfield’s character of Rebob might be irritating to some, if not most viewers, but I do kind of know that guy so as grating as Rebob might be, there is some truth to his creation.

The film begins to unravel as it brings more and more characters into the living room, and also when it begins to introduce twists into the tale. That’s good and fine if it works, but from where I was sitting a lot of things in the endgame didn’t pan out. Without giving anything away, there looked to be a few gaping holes in the way it resolved itself and also turned a few characters upside down which led to an erratic feel for these characters that didn’t exist before the movie got all twisty.

‘Krews’ isn’t bad though. Director Hakim did a good job of generating tension, interest and excitement from a movie that largely takes place in a living room. That can’t be easy to do. If the narrative had been scaled back a bit I’m of the mind that ‘Krews’ would’ve been even better.

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