Criminal Activities

 

Criminal Activities, Michael Pitt, Dan Stevens, Christopher Abbott, Rob Brown, Edi Gathegi, Jackie Earle Haley, John Travolta, Deidre Harmon,

Criminal Activities [mild spoilers]: when they get a bad investment tip a group of friends try to settle their debt to a mob boss by kidnapping a rival gangster’s family member. I was pleasantly surprised at how entertaining this crime caper was – the henchmen side-story (which stars the director) is particularly rib-ticking. The script and performances are surprisingly funny, but there are so many “Fucks” in here it feels like the film is going for a Guinness record – which is a bit of a shame, as it distracts from the good jokes. There are also some very well handled and well placed moments of serious tension and drama that really sink the hooks in to the viewer. The big issue is that it completely hangs on a very large and very wild twist that you could never have guessed on your own (and requires about 10 mins of runtime to fully explain). I hate lazy comparisons, but this one’s quite unique: think Lock Stock and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – and you just don’t get many good films in this sub-genre. How much you ultimately enjoy Criminal Activities will depend on your tolerance for a big old slap in the face at the end – although there’s plenty fun to be had on the way.

Score: 6.5/10

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4 comments
  1. I’ve never even heard of this, but I’m glad to read it wasn’t too bad. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a riot, so if this even half as good as that, then it should be pretty enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      Doesn’t quite reach the heights of KKBB, but in the same ‘murky’ screwball criminal world for sure.

      Like

  2. Dan said:

    You’ve definitely opened my eyes to the potential that I may enjoy this one. Particularly the reference to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      It’s on Netflix at the moment – definitely worth adding to the watch list :)

      Like

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