Kurt Russell and Luke Hemsworth star in indie crime drama thriller
Love it or hate it, cryptocurrency is a trending topic for the digital age. Encrypted currency, like Bitcoin, is either lauded for working independently from bank regulation, or loathed for being used on the dark web for various nefarious reasons, like illegal drug or firearm trade.
Sadly, cryptocurrency is just an afterthought in Crypto, directed by John Stalberg Jr. The digital currency is only briefly mentioned in this average crime thriller featuring a hint of family drama.
The film stars Beau Knapp (Netflix’s Seven Seconds) as Martin, an anti-money laundering officer for a major financial institution who is sent back to his hometown in New York. In addition to finding out many financial irregularities happening in the small town, Martin learns that his family’s farm is also in trouble.
Crypto goes where many films have gone before, like exploring Martin’s fractured relationships with his father Martin Sr. (played by Kurt Russell). Martin must also deal with his seething brother Caleb, played by Luke Hemsworth (HBO’s Westworld). The film also features a few expected twists along the way.
The only time in the film that cryptocurrency is somewhat explained is through Martin’s friend Earl played by Jeremie Harris (FX’s Legion). Earl shares his brief insight on cryptocurrency while operating his family’s liquor store. With the help of Earl’s insight and hacking, Martin soon uncovers the sinister misdeeds of Russian baddies headed by a bearded Vincent Kartheiser (AMC’s Mad Men).
Just a fun side note, Kartheiser is married to Alexis Bledel (Gilmore Girls, The Handmaid’s Tale), who plays Katie in the film.
This film does no favors for Knapp in the leading role, in which his performance can be best described as wooden. His co-stars, which are more noteworthy ( Jill Hennessy of Crossing Jordan and Law & Order fame has a underused role in this film as well), don’t really help in this film which feels rushed all the way through.
It seems like Crypto’s screenwriting team found a topic that was trending online and decided to quickly write a script around it without giving much thought or effort. Somehow a studio decided to greenlight it. Crypto will more than likely be heading to a bargain DVD bin at your local retailer or gas station very soon.
At best, Crypto is a rental, the type of movie you can rent from Redbox (currently available) or online while completely forgetting about the film soon after.
Perhaps one day, a film will strike the right cord when it comes to dealing with the hot topic issue of cryptocurrency. Until then, we will have to wait.