Ever wonder how cryptocurrency could be interesting to anyone other than currency speculators? Second-time director John Stalberg Jr. brings us Crypto, a thriller about money laundering through the digital world.
Wall Street banker Martin Duran, Jr. (Beau Knapp) gets demoted after a deal for Omni Bank where he is employed. He is transferred to his hometown branch in order to look at irregularities in their reports. He reconnects to his farmer father Martin Duran, Sr. (Kurt Russell), who resents his son for abandoning him and his PTSD suffering veteran brother Caleb (Luke Hemsworth), as they are losing the farm to a predatory loan. His friend and local liquor store owner Earl Simmons (Jeremie Harris) who is a cryptocurrency enthusiast. He begins his audit at a local art gallery owned by the eccentric Robin Whiting (Jill Hennessy) and meets her assistant Katie (Alexis Bledel), whom he develops an interest. As he digs deeper into their business, he soon discovers a money-laundering conspiracy involving cryptocurrency that involves the Russian mafia.
Whenever I see a movie available on Hulu for “free with no ads,” I always get a little curious when it is billed as a thriller. While I will not say this movie is Se7en, it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. Now the movie was flawed. It had a muted feel to it that sometimes disrupted the flow of the movie and it had one too many side characters with subplots that bogged the film down.
As for the aesthetics, the movie was decently shot. It did have this weird green hue to it that was a little odd. I know it is popular with thrillers to use certain types of lenses to invoke emotion. Perhaps since the movie is about money, the green hue was meant to represent the cryptocurrency theme of the plot.
While only a minor character, Russell, of course, stole the money. He played the part of a gruff farmer with ease. The other actors also did a good job. Knapp did a good job with his role, playing the role of a troubled protagonist trying to balance his morally ambiguous job with coming home. Bidel played her role very well too. It was good to see her not playing in a weird indie or teenie flick, but taking a serious role.
I would say, I have not caught the cryptocurrency bug, but this movie turned the whole concept of a crime show and made it about a new sort of currency that is popular. I found that aspect of it particularly interesting and I have a feeling we will see more films that look into this.
One other thing, I did appreciate the themes of family and hard work that were peppered throughout the film. Martin’s younger brother is a veteran struggling with PTSD. He refuses to seek help and only finds solace on his farm that is about to be taken away. It was heartfelt and I appreciate the nod to those old school kind of values.
Bottom line, while this indie flick has its flaws, it is a decent thriller that has an interesting plot that has a new subject matter that will no doubt slowly make its way into cinema.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Violence, Strong foul language, Drug use, Some sexual content
FAVORITE QUOTE: It’s uncertain to me how high these conspiracies go.
Check out the trailer below:
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