5lbs of Pressure

5lbs of Pressure
5lbs of Pressure
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Every year, hundreds upon hundreds of formulaic films from various genres are released as either straight-to-VOD or with a minimal theatrical window. Most of them can somehow attract major talent – talents who have featured in credible projects before. Some just make pulp fun. Others are as throwaway as the price at which they can be rented digitally. Positioned somewhere between those two is Phil Allocco’s crime thriller 5lbs of Pressure.

This movie features well known faces like Luke Evans, Rory Culkin and Alex Pettyfer but it is a typical scumbag crime drama that does not distinguish itself in any way. Evans plays Adam, a parolee recently freed after being jailed for murder and willing to straighten up his act. In order to keep his nose clean and away from trouble whenever it comes calling, he tries reuniting with his ex Donna (Stephanie Leonidas) and grown-up son Jimmy (Rudy Pankow). Nevertheless, the murdered man happens to be the brother of Eli (Zac Adams), a small time drug dealer working under Leff (Pettyfer) and Mike’s(Culkin).

For almost two hours 5lbs of Pressure spends most of its time wandering around while it pretends to examine these men’s lives who wish to leave behind their chosen path in life. If there is anyone who emerges unscathed from the whole film itself that would be Culkin who approaches Mike as if he were some naïve wannabe thug. The character becomes one of the most arresting personalities in the film because he is more interested in placating his uncle than actually putting much effort into selling drugs.

Everyone else seems caught up in their own low rent version of The Departed, but Adam remains trapped inside some sort of family melodrama where he slowly reveals himself to Jimmy without letting him know that they share bonds through blood relationship. Surprisingly natural on this part, Evans is much greasier than his roles in The Hobbit films and Beauty and the Beast. Yet, like most of the other characters, Jimmy is not so much a person as he is a plot device to progress from one spot to another.

The criminal dramas can easily make statements about America or difficulties that parolees face when attempting to break out of their cycle of crime but 5lbs of Pressure never really tries to engage in such discussions. In Allocco’s script there’s some talk about men who had second thoughts for a split second but it’s nothing more than what has been reiterated many times over. Both Adam and Eli have made dumb decisions that cost them dearly – Adam with the murder, Eli through his almost toxic relationship with his girlfriend Aliyah (Laura Hopper). However, it gets mired in details without ever being subtle enough not to have impact.

There’s another version of 5lbs of Pressure that is far trashier and more embarrassing although there are definitely some bad moments but Allocco simply gets by doing just enough. It takes quite a bit to get any film made in Hollywood regardless of its scope or quality so I won’t be too hard on anyone here. Nevertheless, I would recommend you look elsewhere for something with a little more entertainment value.

March 8th 2024 will see the release of 5lbs of Pressure across US theaters digital and indeed on demand in general.

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