Dead Draw (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

DEAD DRAW

Director: Brian Klemesrud
Writer: Brian Klemesrud
Stars: Elizabeth Tulloch, Michael Eklund, Gil Bellows

Plot:  Someone knows about the 25 million and the plane to Mexico. Someone killed the getaway pilot. As loyalty turns to suspicion and friends become enemies, 4 criminals try to find the rat and escape their past – if they can survive the night.
Running Time: 93 Minutes
IMDB Score: 5.1

Why I Watched it: This was a Netflix watch and also I wanted to see Eklund and Bellows play leads, as they’re both very underrated good Canadian Actors.
Random Thoughts: One of the things I like about watching straight to demand(or DVD) is that character actors sometimes get the chance to be leads and for someone like Michael Eklund it’s great to see him with more screen time, he’s done a lot of genre work but here he’s pretty much the co-lead.

What I liked: This is a very straight forward, cliched, story a crew pulls off a heist and something goes wrong.  With Dead Draw the heist goes perfect, they get away and when they get to this small air field they find their pilot dead and that makes it looks like there’s a rat in the crew. What I like is they stole Cartel money so the police isn’t a big issue but someone is telling them to give up the money so that’s a problem.

The standout here is Eklund, here’s very good as a man who just got out of jail, took the fall and is back helping his brother and friend pull off this big money heist.  The dynamic  of the group is pretty good, there’s no real bad guy, no wild card but all the men have problems and backstories we see in flashback through out the story.
I really liked the first half, the set up and the character work is all good, sure they rely on cliches but the acting is good enough to carry it forward.  Bellows is very good in the first half, he’s the leader the man with the plan and also the guy saying this is “the last big job” the retirement job.  Now I would complain about the backstory but they do mean something at first I thought is was filler for the run time but it does play out into a decent twist.  The tension is good and the final act is well played and thought out and Eklund ends up carrying the last bit.

What I Didn’t Like: Once the second act kicks in and everyone starts pointing fingers and yelling I felt the film lost it’s way and the character this hurt the most is Bellows who seems to go against what we saw earlier to carry the plot in the second half, it didn’t ring true for me and it was too bad because up till then it was a nice play between him and Eklund but Bellows goes off the rails and it felt like a dumb decision.

The second act and the start of the third act I felt the film was struggling to keep the pacing and the tension up, even at 93 minutes it was overlong, the fighting just kept going and it ended up just for the sake of drawing out the plot, there was a decent idea there but they overplayed their hand and by the time the twist came you almost stopped caring. The film is hurt a little by budget, not a lot of people in this film and that hurts when you’re trying to set up a mystery, a who’s the rat if you will, we only meet so many people.  I did say the flashbacks did work into the end but one seems like there was no point it added nothing to the character and it went nowhere.

Final Thoughts: A decent small film and if you a genre fan then it’s not bad, it’s a decent heist gone wrong story.

Rating: ‪5/10‬

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