"13" is the first movie, I can recall, since "The Deer Hunter" that uses Russian roulette as a plot device. I would go out on a limb and say that "13" utilizes Russian roulette even more than "The Deer Hunter" did. Therefore, I found this movie to have a very unique and different vibe about it. I found it to be very intense and extremely well acted. Unfortunately, certain aspects of this film keep it hostage from being an amazing motion picture.
The plot is somewhat basic; Vince (Sam Riley) and his family have hit hard times with money. His father is in the hospital for a reason that is never disclosed (a textbook MacGuffin) and needs various operations to get him back on his feet. Since the family has exhausted all their options, Vince ends up taking extreme measures to aid his family. Using the ruse of paraphrasing, Vince blindly uses someone else's identity believing it will bring him some quick money. However, Vince finds himself being player number "13" in an underground gambling circuit in a round robin style game of Russian roulette.
There a couple of subplots in this movie, one involving Mickey Rourke and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, another involving Ray Winstone and Jason Statham. I found these subplots, well acted and very, very engaging. Alexander Skarsgård known by most as Eric on the show "True Blood" gives a strong performance in a supporting role. As I noted prior, the acting in this movie is excellent. I knew Sam Riley played Ian Curtis in "Control". I haven't seen that movie yet, which is odd because I am fond of Joy Division. Nevertheless, Sam Riley played a good protagonist and I look forward to see him in other films. As for Jason Statham, I have always had mixed feelings about him as an actor. In some movies I roll my eyes and at other I enjoy his work. I would have to say he gave a strong performance in this film. In addition, he doesn't throw a single punch, which is different for him. Rourke and Winstone were solid as always and even good old 50 Cent provided a good performance.
The problem I had with this film was the last half an hour. The pace became a jumbled mess, appearing as too many things needed to be addressed before the 90 minute mark came. For instance, there was an unneeded side story with the police attempting to find this underground circuit. As for the final scene, without spoiling it, there was an excellent irony to the denouement. Yet I also felt like, "I sat through 90 minutes for this".
This movie is a remake of a French film; I haven't seen the original so I cannot make any comparisons. Nor am I aware if this film has been honest to the source material. I believe if the last half an hour could be reworked and subplots either expanded or eliminated, this could have been an amazing film. I believe the film could even have the same ending, if the former and latter issues could be addressed.
In the end this film is interesting, different, and at times very intense and has really good acting. I would recommend giving this movie a go, there are definitely worse movies a person could watch. I for one am interested to see the original.
This film is along the lines of Fight Club, Lion Heart and Taken. Vince Ferro is a struggling electrician. We see glimpses of him with his mother and sister and niece. He is working at a house with for a sick gentlemen (Harrison) who receives a mysterious envelope while under some sort of surveillence. Ferro overhears Harrison talking to another guy about the envelope as a means to get some money. Harrison dies in the house of a drug overdose while Vince is still there. The … more
There is NOTHING surprising in this movie. You get to know ahead how it will end. So, plot-wise, nothing spectacular. What is amazing is the array of emotions that one could go through watching such a display of brutality (you don’t really need lots of blood or kicks or hammering to do that). In this movie whereby each rounds the “contestants” in the Russian Roulette game that these rich and speculative men play, it is amounting to a date with fate … more
Star Rating: There are scenes in 13 that successfully elicit a terrifying visceral thrill. There can be no other reaction to a plot that centers on underground Russian roulette and numerous shots that consist of imprisoned men holding guns to each other’s heads. I’ve never fired or even held a gun in my life, and yet the movies have made me aware of that moment just before the trigger is pulled – that solitary, agonizingly tense moment when … more
It is rather brisk in this field. The leaves are descending like a tapestry of aloof dreams. The wind entices these leaves into a plume of whimsical billowing ontological paradox. Then I recall that I … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.