SXSW Film Reviews
Beautifully shot (to a fault), meticulously edited, and well-acted, Risk comes off as a watered-down Hollywood-style caper movie with a little more grit than your average Tom Cruise fare.
RiskD: Alan White; with Bryan Brown, Tom Long, Claudia Karvan, Jason Clarke. (35mm, 95 min.)
Okay, so this Australian import doesn't exactly embody the spirit of the independent filmmaker as viewed within the context of the SXSW film festival, but put aside Risk's big budget, star power, and heavy-gloss production value -- because, despite it all, a journey lies within. Full of double-crosses, temptation, booze, sex, sultry babes, and, last but not least, money, the film is based on the short story, "The Adjuster" by prize-winning author Tracy Kidder. It stars the easygoing Brown (Gorillas in the Mist) as John Kreisky, an alcoholic, chain-smoking scoundrel insurance claims adjuster who's finally figured out a way to defraud the boys upstairs. With a fresh-faced recruit (Long) under his wing and a devilishly intelligent advocate (Karvan) in tow, Brown and company set out to make themselves filthy rich and wind up in a heap of trouble. Beautifully shot (to a fault), meticulously edited, and well-acted, Risk comes off as a watered-down Hollywood-style caper movie with a little more grit than your average Tom Cruise fare. For those who ventured to the festival to remark on filmmakers who put their vision in the can for $7,000, this film won't inspire you. However, if you're simply after an adrenaline-inducing joy ride through the concrete jungles of downtown Sydney, look no further. (CC, 3/15, 9:45pm)