“The Odds” Review (2011)

I still don’t really understand Poker’s popularity.  I remember playing in High-school a bit simply because it was the “thing to do” at the time, but it’s always confused me a little how such a relatively silly game could come to be as popular as it is today.  Even more perplexing is the amount of people who watch “professional” players play the game on television.  I’ve attempted to watch TV poker in the past as a bit of an anthropological experiment but ended up not lasting more than a couple of minutes, bored out of my skull and confused to death about how anyone can enjoy watching such a dull “sport”.  It’s fitting then that I feel almost the same way about David Simon‘s The Odds.

Desson Orr (played by Tom Cruise look-alike Tyler Johnston) is an attractive, smug teenager deeply ingrained in the world of underground teen gambling that apparently is a real thing.  Him and his group of friends meet on what seems like a nightly basis at Paul Morrow’s (Jaren Brandt Bartlett) basement which has been conveniently and unconvincingly converted into a makeshift casino.  Things go awry one night when one of Desson’s friends, Barry (Calum Worthy) is found dead in his garage, appearing to have commited suicide.  Being the hard-boiled detective that David Simon wants him to be Desson is convinced that some foul play is involved in his friends death and sets out to find Barry’s killers.

In a film that’s about poker, it’s surprising that there aren’t really any tangible stakes to the central characters plight.  Desson is played so smug and arrogant by Johnston that I almost hoped he failed in his attempt to discover the truth behind his equally-as-annoying-as-a-character friend’s death.  He’s one of those kids who was a giant douchebag to everyone at your school but still managed to demand all of their attention.  Simon really never touches on this, so I think he actually wants audiences to care about Desson and his investigation.  While people like Desson might get into the character, I just didn’t buy it.

To Simon’s credit however, the film is at the very least aesthetically interesting.  Shot on the RED camera system, Simon clearly has a talent for composing his shots and then choosing the right music to go behind them.  I just wish he had the same nack for crafting a coherent narrative.  His story also borrows very heavily from Rian Johnson‘s Brick, it’s almost eerie how close the two films are at some points.  The main antagonist is a kid older than the protagonist who went to his school, his “enforcer” friend is an unhinged blonde muscle head, and the entire story is based around the murder of a central character early on in the film.  What Simon failed to steal from Brick however is the ingenuity that creating an interesting modern-day detective story requires.

The Odds is a movie I wanted to enjoy.  I love noir, the genre has provided some of my favorite films.  I went in to The Odds with low expectations, and came out more disapointed than I thought possible.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Reviews

Author:Ryan Crockett

Super-geek and cinephile, artist and writer, Ryan Crockett knows way too much about the French Revolution.


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

5 Comments on ““The Odds” Review (2011)”

  1. September 26, 2011 at 12:36 am #

    Extremely lazy review. So lazy in fact that it deserves an equally lazy review of the review. (Seriously though, anyone could tell how lazy it is even if they did agree with him on the film.)

    • September 26, 2011 at 4:52 am #

      In the interest of improving my writting, would you mind being a bit more specific? I’d be happy to read a review of my supposedly lazy review, please write one :P.

  2. AJ
    September 30, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Awful, awful review. You can’t judge a movie about poker poorly in the aspect that it’s about poker, when in fact you know next to nothing about the game. There are such things as professionals, and it is a game, not a sport. The movie may not have been good, but the review was poor in it’s lack of research.

    • October 1, 2011 at 1:58 am #

      Did you read the review? Or did you just skim the first paragraph, completely disagree with my (completely subjective and in no way authoratative) opinion on the game you obviously love and decide that the rest of the review couldn’t possibly be anything other than awful?

      I would strongly urge you to read the review, because apart from the first paragraph where I use my (once again completely subjective and non-authoratative) opinion on the game of poker to set up a semi-witty line to summarize my thoughts on the film, I really don’t talk about poker at all.

      “Awful, awful comment. You can’t judge a review about a movie by only reading the first paragraph that has essentially nothing to do with the movie it’s reviewing. This is review is mediocre, not awful. The review may not have been amazing, but the comment was poor in it’s lack of research.”


  1. TIFF 11 Wrap Up | Reel Talk - September 25, 2011

    […] The Odds […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: