Criminal Activities (2015)

Risky Dealings

When their friend dies Zach (Michael Pitt), Warren (Christopher Abbott) and Bryce (Rob Brown) return home for his funeral where they run in to Noah (Dan Stevens) who use to be a friend but one who got picked on quite a bit when they were young. The four friends decide to go in on a deal thanks to some insider information on stocks but when the stocks are frozen the four friends find themselves in deep with money lender Eddie (John Travolta) who offers them a deal, kidnap and hold hostage Marques (Edi Gathegi) for 24 hours and he will wipe out his debt.

I will leave the synopsis for "Criminal Activities" as there are other things which go on in this movie, for example whilst the friends hole this guy hostage you have one of Eddie's henchmen looking for a guy connected to him. But the majority of the movie seems to focus on these 4 guys dealing with Marques as they end up arguing over things especially when things don't go to plan. On top of that some of these guys have issues from one being a recovering alcoholic to Zach having trust issues when it comes to his girlfriend. And truth be told whilst Jackie Earle Haley in his first attempt at directing a movie does an okay job it is only okay, lacking anything to make it stand out.

Except... things are not as they seem and so without giving anything away we learn exactly what has been going on during the final 10 minutes. Now whilst this certainly makes the storyline a lot more entertaining it is in truth not that surprising that things are not what they seem. And truth be told the revelation side of the movie whilst having some entertaining scenes ends up a quick montage with the majority of the movie dominated by the ordinary build up.

What this all boils down to is that "Criminal Activities" ends up one of those movies which you might watch when you stumble across it on the TV having not seen it before. But it isn't a movie which after you have watched once you will feel any desire to watch again.