Fast reviews for busy people! Watch as Richard Crouse reviews three movies in less time than it takes to wind a clock! Have a look as he races against the clock to tell you about David Fincher’s thriller “The Killer,” the mascot mayhem of “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and Emily Blunt in “Pain Hustlers.”
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about David Fincher’s thriller “The Killer,” Emily Blunt in “Pain Hustlers,” the mascot mayhem of “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and the John Cena action flick “Freelance.”
“Pain Hustlers,” a new true crime dramedy based on the non-fiction book “The Hard Sell” by Evan Hughes, starring Emily Blunt and Chris Evans, and now streaming on Netflix, joins the ever-growing list of movies and television shows that detail big pharma’s culpability in the opioid crisis.
Blunt plays Liza Drake, a broke single-mom to daughter Phoebe (Chloe Coleman). Kicked out of her sister’s garage, where they’d been sleeping for more than a month, Liza is desperate for a job and cash.
During a chance meeting with oily pharmaceutical sales rep Pete Brenner (Chris Evans), she impresses him with her tenacity. Sensing she’d do anything for a buck, he offers her a job, despite her complete lack of qualifications, selling a new, inhalable fentanyl-based pain killer directly to doctors.
“It’s a long-odds lottery buried under a thousand rejections,” he tells her.
To keep the job, all she has to do is get the ball rolling by convincing one doctor to prescribe the drug. Just under the deadline, she lands a whale, the morally compromised Dr. Lydell (Brian d’Arcy James) who hands out the drug to his patients like candy to kids at Halloween.
Liza’s piece of the action is more money than she ever could have imagined. “You’re not going to make a hundred K this year,” Brenner tells her. “It’s going to be more like six-hundred.”
Drunk on success—and frequent drinking binges—she bends laws and bribes doctors as she chants her mantra, “Own your territory,” to a growing legion of sales reps. But while her bank account swells, so do her doubts, as her conscience becomes her moral compass.
“Pain Hustlers” breathes much of the same air as “Dopesick,” “Painkiller” and the documentary “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.” Some. But not all. Those stories focused on patients and the personal toll of the opioid epidemic. Conversely, “Pain Hustlers” turns the camera on the sales reps, the pharmaceutical pushers who made fortunes on the misfortune of others.
Liza’s shift from desperation to greed isn’t a particularly fresh take on the rags-to-riches tale, but Blunt works overtime to make her character compelling. Her desire to succeed, to improve her life isn’t simply about the Benjamins, it’s about creating a new start for her daughter. Blunt grounds the movie with ample humanity, anchoring the film’s often over-the-top antics with her earthbound presence.
To its detriment, “Pain Hustlers” has a lighter tone than other recent opioid dramas. It’s not exactly a laugh a minute, but the jocular tone seems at odds with the serious subject matter, particularly in the performances of Evans and Andy Garcia, whose character loses his mind and the audience’s attention midway through.
“Pain Hustlers” attempts a new take on a hot button topic, but, the formulaic execution and uneven tone feels wonky given subject matter.
I appear on “CTV News at 11:30” with anchor Andria Case to talk about the best movies and television to watch this weekend. This week I have a look at the return of “Ted Lasso” on Apple TV+, the Prime Video series “Daisy Jones & The Six” and the true crime movie “Boston Strangler” starring Kiera Knightly on Disney+.
I joined CP24 to have a look at new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres. Today we talk about the superhero flick “Shazam!: Fury of the Gods,” the crime story “Boston Strangler” and the family dramas “Brother” and “Riceboy Sleeps.”
I join NewsTalk 1010 host Jim Richards on the coast-to-coast-to-coast late night “NewsTalk Tonight” to play the game “Did Richard Crouse Like This?” This week we talk about the superhero flick “Shazam!: Fury of the Gods,” the crime story “Boston Strangler” and the family drama “Brother.”
I join 1290 CJBK in London and host Ken Eastwood to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the superhero flick “Shazam!: Fury of the Gods,” the crime story “Boston Strangler” and the family dramas “Brother” and “Riceboy Sleeps.”