Meewella | Critic

According to P

Tag: Judy Greer

QuickView: Buffaloed (2019)

“Buffalo, New York. The epicentre of the rust belt. A city whose favorite meal is a discarded chicken part. A city hopelessly dedicated to a staple of disappointment.”


A The Big Short-lite that examines America’s debt collection industry through a fictional hustler in Buffalo, New York, Buffaloed adopts Adam McKay’s technique of explanatory asides from characters but lacks anything like the same depth. Zoey Deutch’s high-energy performance keeps the film moving though the script cannot keep pace. It opens strongly enough with Peg’s introduction as a precocious child with dreams of success that land her prison, before discovering the lucrative and predatory debt recovery business on her release. As her new career takes off, however, the film stumbles with throwaway characters and a contrived relationship between Peg and the prosecutor who originally put her away. Squandering its early credit, Buffaloed runs out of steam with little insight beyond the fact that purchasing debt is predatory.


QuickView: Driven (2018)

“The darkest dark is the dark beside the spotlight. You can do anything there and no one seems to notice.”

John DeLorean

Ostensibly covering the scandal which engulfed the respected car designer John DeLorean when he tried to establish the DeLorean Motor Company, Driven is oddly written in a way that largely sidelines both the man and his iconic car. Instead, the focus is on the affable FBI informant who was involved in setting him up, a mustachioed Jason Sudeikis seemingly test running the performance that would later become Ted Lasso. This approach provides a light-hearted tone with a character easy to root for, but it robs the film of much of its real-world interest in favour of a by-the-numbers sting. The DeLorean’s futuristic design with its immediately-recognisable gull-wing doors, and the compromises that undermined its launch, are worthy of centre-stage but are relegated almost to a McGuffin. Working with very little, Lee Pace impressively imbues John with determination and a quiet, tragic depth — there are similarities with his role in Halt and Catch Fire, a series which far better captured the entrepreneurial struggle and spirit of the 1980s. The period setting is effective, in the colour grading as much as the wide-collar constuming. Driven is a forgettable joyride, sufficiently enjoyable in the moment but derivative and ill-focused.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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