Anchor Bay Entertainment’s new crime thriller, Pawn is an interesting work. For a movie that was filmed in roughly fifteen days, and helmed by a first time director—David A. Armstrong—it turned out to be not the standard crime thriller. Rather, it’s a story that requires audiences to completely invest their attention on the story. If viewers can do this, then they will find that despite some scripting issues, it still turns out to be a movie that is worth at least one watch.
One of the main positives to Pawn is that it wastes no time jumping right into the story. The story is simple enough. On one side, audiences get a crime thriller that’s front loaded with lots of crosses and double crosses; so many in fact that some viewers may need a program to follow exactly what’s going on. In direct relation is the story of a young man who simply wants to turn around his life after having gotten out of jail only hours before the standoff at crime boss Yuri’s café. The young man is used as a red herring for one specific aspect of the story. Though, it becomes increasingly obvious that he is used in such role as the story advances. Because of this one can’t help but cheer for him and hope that he gets out of the café alive and in one piece.
The writing behind Pawn forces viewers to fully engage and immerse themselves in its world. It’s just one of the movie’s positives. What can also be noted of the movie is that the acting on the part of both Chiklis and Common was expert once again. This should come as no surprise, especially considering that Chiklis has quite the extensive resume when it comes to crime thrillers. He worked for seven seasons on FX’s The Shield, not to mention an equally extensive stage resume, too. And Common played the role of a crooked cop himself in the 2010 movie, Date Night. What’s most interesting is hearing Chiklis pull off a British accent. Typically American actors don’t have much success trying to pull off foreign accents. But somehow, he pulled it off. Though he did sound somewhat like Bob Hoskins as Smee in Hook. And considering that Hoskins is a U.K. born actor, this is actually quite the compliment to Chiklis.
Next to the outstanding of the movie’s all-star cast, one can say of Pawn is its cinematography. The angles and the fast paced shots help keep the suspense throughout the story. Even in less action packed moments, the camera work does an impressive job of keeping viewers entirely engaged. One such example comes late in the story when the unnamed “Man in the suit” (played by Ray Liotta) attempts to feel Amanda’s (Nikki Reed) baby bump after having spent quite an amount of time threatening her life and that of her husband and her unborn child. The tension in the room is thanks in large part to the camera work. The angle of the shot leaves viewers wondering what he’s about to do. It’s just one of so many impressive shots achieved throughout this crime thriller. And it’s just one of so many moments that make this a crime thriller that is worth at least one watch.
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