Although I got the gist of it, the first act was a more or less flat and confusing act, with small scenes of utter dull delivery from single-scene characters.
But then the plot arrives at its destination, the movie begins, I actually think it should have begun here, straight into it, because now we're in hokd-your-breath territory.
A little voice in my head whispers plot armour" but the delivery of the main character, number 13, by God do I believe he's terrified, horrified, about to have a heart attack or nervous breakdown.
All the way through the second act I was gripped by the hate of this character. His chances going down and down as the stakes go up.
We are introduced to the other players as well, most filler, a few minor, and a few important enough to get some development. I think they characterized them well, only then they do into these short flashbacks throughout and it takes you out of the tension, which would be a good release valve if the cool down scenes between these rounds of the game don't already do that. And more so the flashbacks spoil allot about whom gets to survive up to which scenes basically, and I was able to call a couple of scene outcomes because of that. Maybe developing a few more characters to the same level as the key player would leave the audience guessing more.
The third act is supposed to be tense, and it is, but sadly I called the scene outcomes as well, so I felt a little disappointed there.
And then it's over and you sit back down, and start to wonder why the movie does not quite wrap up yet, and you connect some loose ends and again, the next ploy development is predictable. At this point the movie should have been over and I'd have been really content, still shaking from all the heart pounding moments of truth. But it goes on for a bit, we get some more confrontation but hey, we just dodged a bullet, so the next bit feels like biting your lip after you've just gotten shot in the belly... Who cares about the lip at that point?
But then, yeah, the last, predictable twist comes, only its not made to be this unexpected twist, but actually this inevitability, and surprisingly it works really well.
In the end I feel this movie could have been cut better, trimmed of fat, ditch or drastically shorter the intro, cut the flashbacks and trim the ending or shorten it to only keep the last scene. But the core of this movie, the part that it is really about, I'd give that a five out of ten, no questions asked. The acting was solid from the cast that mattered, (irrelevant first act characters, though, literally made me say out loud "it's like I'm watching a movie") and the suspense was amazing for the part of the movie that mattered. It's just a shame that it feels like there is a B-Movie around this cinema-worthy core.
Resonant Line: "Vince: I think I should leave. Joe: Its too late now, you have to play."
I expected a lot..but....!!!!
Performances were high caliber from an all star cast, but the overall story needed A LOT of work.
- '13' is the 2010 American remake of the Georgian-French movie '13 Tzameti'. Both the original movie as the remake were directed by Géla Babluani. I really enjoyed the original film that was released in back-and-white and had a very rough edge to it, but I must say I wasn't too keen on the remake. No big changes were made to a good script in which a boy enters a competition that deals with Russian Roulette. Starring Sam Riley (Byzantium, Maleficent), Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler, Sin City), 50 Cent (Escape Plan), Ray Winstone (The Departed, Noah) and Jason Statham (The Expendables, Death Race). In order to live, you must win the game...
Vincent 'Vince' Ferro (Riley) overhears people talking about a deceased man who was offered a job that would have made him rich. Ferro, who is desperately in need of cash, steals the envelope with the instructions for the job. Going to a rendezvous point the young man is accepted to take the dead man's place. Unknowingly he has enters a deadly competition. Together with several other men, including mental patient Ronald Lynn Bagges (Winstone) and Texan jailbird Patrick Jeffersen (Rourke), he is a participant is a game of Russian Roulette. The event is organized for the entertainment of rich spectators, such as Jasper Bagges (Statham), who place bets on who will survive.