CRIMINAL ACTVITIES (2015)
Now we watch a lot of movies here and sometimes we get those movies with those big name stars who just happened to a smaller budgeted film and we wonder why? We know from experience that everyone has to work for money and we know from certain actors they will just take a gig just to take that paycheck.But sometimes there's that one actor that you have to ask why? John Travolta. You would think this man doesn't need money he's made a lot of money from films like Grease, Saturday Night Fever and Face/Off just to name a few. But when it comes to a film this you wonder. But let's face it I knew nothing of this film til I was sent a promo package to promote it. And I figured why not give old Johnny boy a shot for a change.
Indebted to a ruthless crime boss, four friends must kidnap a family member of a rival kingpin as payback.
Criminal Activities starts off with a bang real fast and kills someone off right off the bat. Setting up our four main characters who reunite for the funeral of one of their own former high school classmates that they were close with. This makes us the audience feel sad but makes us feel that the script is going to be strong for this film. But its a few days after said funeral that our four friends here will end up getting in trouble and owing a mob boss played by John Travolta A LOT of money. Pretty much the life's of these four guys changes immediately. As the mob boss forces them to take on a job they can't refuse because if so they will more likely be killed. The job is to kidnap a no good thug like character for the boss but as you can guess the job goes south real fast and they are forced to do thing they wouldn't normally do.
This film is the baby of actor Jackie Earle Haley, making his directorial debut with a crime drama. Criminal Activities has that Pulp Fiction ala Reservoir Dogs feel to it. Making you wonder if Haley was trying to make his own Tarantino film by trying to mimic what was already made before. But for the most part Criminal Activities is a fun crime film that doesn't seem to fall flat on its face but does have its blemishes here and there. Acting wise there's only so much you can really take of Travolta before you realize that he plays the same guy in almost every film because the guy has one style of acting and its almost stiff so each character tends to be the same person. Script wise the characters have long winded speeches that scream Tarantino and even nods to Shakespeare's 'Macbeth" makes in the film.
In the end of Criminal Activities we the viewer learn that there is always a constant struggle between two major factors in this film. Shit happens for a reason or it just doesn't happen for a reason. This film is literally one big mindfuck wrapped around karma. Literally Jackie Earle Haley wants you to understand that things happen for a reason and sometimes they can be the factors of what has happened in life. I personally enjoyed this film and found myself wondering why I didn't hear about this sooner rather than later. I am glad that I was given the chance to review it because its not often I get to do these kind of films, they normally tend to fall to Bobby but with his plate full at the moment I had to take this on and I am glad I did. So if you a Travolta fan who just loves his stiff acting or you like the occasional crime film. Then get your hands on this and give it a shot because you won't be disappointed.
reviewed by Bucky