'Crisis' tries giving the opioid epidemic the 'Traffic' treatment

The casting is surely spectacular. Hammer portrays Jake, an secret agent seeking to catch Fentanyl traffickers, with separate threads that includes Gary Oldman (recently observed within the much-better “Mank”) as an educational who faces a tricky choice relating to trying out of a intended “non-addictive” painkiller and Evangeline Lilly as a mother whose son overdoses.

But as built by means of writer-director Nicholas Jarecki (“Arbitrage”) — in a film billed as being “impressed by means of” fact, however obviously now not beholden to it — every plot performs like a well-known variation on a mystery that may have labored in full-movie shape, however which feels moved quickly jammed in with the others.

Oldman’s professor, for instance, is an not likely candidate to change into a whistleblower, and faces not-so-subtle power from a pharmaceutical government (Luke Evans) and his personal college boss (Greg Kinnear), who obviously does not wish to possibility dropping any candy company investment.

“Now you develop a sense of right and wrong,” the latter gripes.

Armie Hammer in 'Crisis' (Philippe Bosse).Armie Hammer in 'Crisis' (Philippe Bosse).

Lilly’s Claire overcomes her grief sufficient to start out investigating what took place — and pursue taking the regulation into her personal arms — whilst Jake is going via a chain of nerve-racking scenarios as he tries to take care of his duvet whilst luring the world masterminds (one identified handiest as “Mom”) into the open.

After various romantic roles — together with Netflix’s “Rebecca” and “Name Me Via Your Identify” — Hammer makes essentially the most of this hard-bitten crime surroundings, which additionally contains a private motivation (once more, a drained instrument) for his anti-drug crusading. (The actor just lately dropped out of every other upcoming film, mentioning what he described in a remark to USA These days as “spurious on-line assaults” towards him.)

Analyzing the painful toll from the opioid disaster has been sidelined a bit of, understandably, all the way through the pandemic. That guarantees to switch now not handiest with this film however an upcoming two-part HBO documentary, “The Crime of the Century,” which takes a deep dive into the issue’s origins and the greed and corruption surrounding it.

The tragedy related to such tales may supply fertile territory, theoretically, for a just right drama about what went incorrect and who is in the end accountable. That film may get made sooner or later, however “Disaster” is not it.

“Disaster” premieres Feb. 26 in make a choice theaters and on call for on March five. It is rated R.

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