The Odds doesn't bring a lot to the table
Starring Tyler Johnston, Julia Maxwell, Calum Worthy, and Jaren Brandt Bartlett. Rating unavailable.
Much of what’s derivative about The Odds is easily forgivable, especially when it’s seen as a promo reel for up-and-coming B.C. talent. But its lack of basic storytelling sense is harder to ignore. The film is a feature debut for writer-director Simon Davidson, an experienced editor who could have used more editing skills when delineating the characters who populate this tale of Vancouver high schoolers caught up in underground gambling.
The actors, mostly in their early twenties, aren’t bad. Lead Tyler Johnston, who plays the oddly named Desson Orr, unnervingly resembles the young Tom Cruise. When we meet him, he and his squirrelly pal Barry (Calum Worthy) are texting bets during a school wrestling match.
They head to the gambling den of their bookie buddy (standout Jaren Brandt Bartlett), whose hard-bitten mom (Jillian Fargey) doesn’t much mind the nightly booze-up and card fest happening in the basement rec room. Things go horribly worse when one of the gang suddenly dies. But Desson doesn’t get much guidance from his own dad (Robert Moloney), who has other problems. So does the movie.
This is basically about uninteresting suburbanites whose lives have suddenly gone south, maybe. We have no clue where they’re coming from, so it’s hard to care where they’re going, and this isn’t helped by their sub-TV dialogue. The director, alongside frequently creative cinematographer Norm Li, compensates with “edgy” shaky-cam shots and pointless Darren Aronofsky–style close-ups and blitz cuts.
Zero insights into teenage gambling are gleaned, and slapdash murder mysteries aren’t exactly an endangered species. Patric Caird’s music offers a few unexpected moments, at least.
Watch the trailer for The Odds.