Blu-ray Review: Crypto (2019)

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Having written a compliance report that ruffled feathers on Wall Street, anti money laundering officer Martin (Beau Knapp) is sent back home to Elba, New York like a kid who acts out at summer camp.

Not bothering to change out of his department store suit the entire time he's home — or even when he goes hiking with Alexis Bledel — it's no surprise that his sudden return to audit a local bank rubs people in as wrong of a way as his report.

Confronted by his tough, veteran big brother (a strong Luke Hemsworth) who later picks a bar fight with him, Martin has enough to deal with on the home front even before cryptocurrency, the Russian mob, and money laundering are added to the mix.

A film that seems like screenwriters Carlyle Eubank and David Frigerio — working from a story by Jeffrey Ingber — tried to squeeze as many buzzwords as they could into the otherwise oddly passive movie's plot, Crypto is a family drama, a cyber thriller, and a crime film unconvincingly rolled into one. With at least three different storylines wrestling to see which one gets to take the lead, aside from knowing that our lead will always be in a suit for no reason whatsoever, we never quite know which version of Crypto we're going to get from one scene to the next.

Still, after a weird introduction to the mob through a campy, sexually aggressive art gallery owner who seems to have wandered over from a David Lynch set, the film settles into a nice groove for awhile.

Playing like a watered down, abridged version of the John Grisham movie The Firm to the point that we almost want to call Martin Mitch McDeere (I mean he's got the suit and all), just when it starts to get interesting, Crypto veers off once again.

And while the Grisham approach might've served director John Stalberg Jr.'s film well enough if it'd been carried throughout, the film's A-list talent objects by hitting the screen and changing our mind with a vengeance.

As Martin's proud father hoping to save his struggling farm and son (Hemsworth), Kurt Russell turns in a terrific if all too brief supporting performance that makes you wish they would've focused on Martin's family tree and dropped the poorly developed Russian mob subplot once and for all.

Trying to tie it all together with yet another idea involving cryptocurrency and Martin's convenient hacker friend, by the time we reach its increasingly illogical third act, the sleepily directed Crypto has all but fallen apart.

The only upside? Luckily, Martin's suit holds up.

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