If a cartoon and a titty magazine almost killed me, a normal life was out of the question!
Director : William H Macy
Cast : Nick Robinson, Rosario Dawson, Kathy Bates, Jacob Lattimore, Tip Harris and William Fichtner
Earlier this year the excellent “Love, Simon” became the a rare example of Nick Robinson being in a good film. He is a decent enough young actor, but his choice of films is somewhat dodgy at the best of times, see “Jurassic World”, “The Fifth Wave” and “Everything Everything”. I was impressed with him enough in “Love, Simon” to search out trailer for other movies he is in and that is how I came upon “Krystal”.
With the cast that this has got, there is no excuse for it being bad, with even the supporting cast being solid, but at the time of writing it has only received 390 ratings on IMDB, with the average being a poultry 4.9/10. I tend not to think too much into those ratings, but I have often found whilst reviewing movies that if they are below five, that they are genuinely that poor.
I hope I am wrong with this one and it turns out to be decent, but I heavily suspect that this will be another example of that score being fair.
Taylor (Robinson) has PAT, a condition that causes his heart to beat at over 200 beats per minute at random times. One day whilst walking on the beach, Krystal (Dawson) asks him to call a taxi, sending him into an attack. Whilst he is being treated at hospital she reveals she is in an alcoholic anonymous group. Over the coming days Taylor can’t stop thinking about Krystal and joins her support group just so he can be near her.
To feel justified in being there, Taylor starts drinking and smoking recreational drugs. After finally seeming to make a breakthrough, Taylor sees that Krystal has a disabled son named Bobby (Lattimore) and the two clash before a common enemy unites them.
So worthy of more than the low IMDB rating?
For the first fifteen or so minutes I couldn’t figure out why this film had somehow gained such a low score on IMDB and the other similar sites. I was entertained, it seemed coherent and I thought it would be an easy approved stamp to give. Then the first fifteen minutes ended and it all seemed to make sense.
The writing is atrocious. If like me you didn’t realise how religious this film was beforehand, be aware that near enough every single scene has a conversation that somehow squeezes in a religious reference. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were done in a subtle way at all. It becomes very tedious after a while and whilst I get that this is set in the region of America that is very religious, the screenplay makes it very hard to believe this would be something real people would go through.
Whilst I’m on the subject of that area of the country, whilst the cast does fine in pretty much every other aspect when considering the dross they’ve been given, the most polite word I could use regarding the delivery of the southern accents is “inconsistent”.
There also doesn’t seem to be a genuine struggle for Taylor in winning Krystal over. Unless he stalks her into subconscious submission as one minute she has no interest, and the next she barely bats an eyelid when he effectively tells her son that they’re together. It feels completely lazy in execution to have her flip so easily.
Granted, it’s not the only questionable piece of plot delivery. For example, plot points are often left unacknowledged for a long time, with the PAT condition being heavily featured in the first fifteen minutes, only to then to not really be referenced again until the final ten minutes.
A promising start that quickly fell apart, ‘Krystal’ failed to deliver on that the quality of the cast would indicate. This is poorly writting and uninspired to the point where I would say that the current IMDB rating of 4.9 is too high.
If you can get past the heavy and obviously fake southern accents that are delivered in an inconsistent manner, then you will appreciate the efforts of the cast given what they have to work with.
Also, please forgive the Russain subtitles in the trailer, I couldn’t find the normal one strangely.