There are two things here to recommend.
The first is that the screenplay is based on a fresh idea that springs from the kind of gangster genre typified by Snatch. I’ll characterise this as an anti-genre film because it uses that genre as a shortcut to describe the background world of violence the story has. But the story itself rides outside that genre.
That story has quite a few unexpected turns because it depends on no particular genre but skips among a few. So I’ll give this very high marks for having been well conceived.
It also happens to have a well handled set of cinematic conventions, switching effortlessly into POV of the superbrain from time to time. There is something interesting here, something about a noir hero transforming into the con master, having to outwit what seems to be three groups of thugs.
One notable feature: in typical noir fashion, the central character narrates. But he is also a writer, and presumably what we see in the latter part of the film is the book written in the earlier part.
Posted in 2015
Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.