Drug addiction has taken the form of an epidemic in US society. But the real problem isn’t the drugs themselves but the availability of these harmful substances in the market. In the Opioid epidemic in the United States, many of these harmful addictive drugs are sold by pharmaceuticals rather than drug lords. The horrifying truth is, most of these drugs are FDA approved and bring billions to the pharma companies. They encash on addiction. The film Crisis tries to underline the Opioid epidemic through a fictional drug in their narrative, but much of the horror and pain is real and that is what makes the film IMPORTANT.
The plot follows three different individuals who are battling against the drug war on their individual fronts. The film begins with the capture of a drug supplier who was illegally crossing the US/Canada border forty miles south of Montreal. The crisis links to Armenian drug dealers against whom the undercover agent Jake Kelly (Armie Hammer) is running a narcotics operation.
Jake Kelly has built a multi-cartel network while working with Armenian drug traffickers. He speculates the arrival of a new drug in the market called Fentanyl (fictional drug) that is 100 times more potent than heroin. Through Armenian drug exporters, Jake finds his way to the importer of Fentanyl drug who runs the syndicate. Drug Lord, Claude Veroche (Guy Nadon) popularly known as the Mother in the film is the root of all causes. Jake Kelly infiltrates the network and builds trustworthy relationships with Mother, assigning him a consignment to deliver Fentanyl in vitamin bottles so that they can easily go to the United States. Mother falls for the trap but a mishap wrecks the operation.
The second story follows a recovering architect, Claire Reimann (Evangeline Lilly) who is searching for her missing son, David. The police find her son dead by drug overdose. The lab reports reveal that David od-ed on an opioid (painkiller) drug called oxycodone. It was the same drug that was used by Claire during her addiction period. Claire feels it was her sins that took her son but the postmortem results suggested that David took oxycodone only once, and that was at the moment of his death. His death could be attempted murder.
A biologist, Dr. Tyrone Brower (Gary Oldman) works as a University professor. Through his lab experiment, he figures out that a new non-addictive painkiller drug called Klaralon is highly contagious. The drug was created by the large pharmaceutical company Northlight to replace the addictive painkiller oxycodone. But Tyrone reports suggest that Klaralon is three times more addictive than oxy. It resulted in the death of lab rats and could lead to the Opioid epidemic if FDA passes it without human trials. The company Northlight denies the accusations and tries to buy his silence. However, Tyrone Brower doesn’t turn around from threats and shakes off the bribe he was offered, he fights against the tyranny until his last breath.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Crisis’ Ending Explained
After the border police arrest a drug courier near the border, Jake and Guy Broussard get a lead for a list that contains all the names of informants who work for the police. Jake suspects that his name could be on the list but before he finds it, the man leaking the list ends up dead. Later, Mother finds the list and shoots Guy suspecting him to be a snitch. He also murders several other informers and drug courier guys. One of those guys was Derrick Millebran who went into the same camp with Claire’s son David.
Through a private investigator, Claire finds the connection between the arrested courier near the border, Cedric, David, and Derrick. Derrick and Cedric went to the same camp with David and worked for Guy Broussard. When Claire follows Derrick, he reveals to her that he met David during the camp and asked him to carry his drug bag while transporting a consignment. Mother (Claude Veroche) suspected David to be an informant for the police and killed him for the same. Claire pursues revenge against Mother.
When Jake’s secret op to catch Mother red-handed fails, he takes matters into his own hand. He digs out Mother’s hiding place through a bartender. Simultaneously, Jim Douglas, the private investigator hired by Claire informs her the same information. Claire reaches the transport warehouse before Jake and shoots Mother. Mother’s bodyguard shoots Claire too but Jake arrives at the right moment and saves her.
Before leaving, Jake alters the crime scene so that it looks like a potential murder, and the police don’t link it to Claire or Jake. He leaves with Claire and saves her life and tells her that she reminds him of her dead sister. Jake’s sister, Emmie Kelly (Lily-Rose Depp) died from a drug overdose.
In Tyrone’s story, the FDA passes the contagious drug Klaralon and he loses the battle against Northlight. The company frames Tyrone in a sexual assault harassment case against a student that costs him his job. Tyrone Brower leaves the town with his pregnant battle but continues his battle against deadly drugs. In the end, he is employed as a biology teacher at the University of Michigan. The ending super text gives out the number of deaths caused by opioid overdose, thus, creating awareness to stop them.
Opioid drugs are available at the local medical store. The prescription could be easily forged and thus, the substance is handy. Through a crime thriller setup, Crisis tries to spotlight the horrors and tragedy caused by these drugs. While the film had its motive aimed at the right mark, it failed to hit it. An extremely important film follows an utterly uninteresting plot. At some point, the film becomes burdened with too much information and events that it becomes hard for a general viewer to catch up. While Jake and Claire’s story is a bit connected, Tyrone’s story is running in an extremely different zone.
Tyrone’s story was a unique addition to the film. But it didn’t connect. It played superficially around the main plot and had nothing to do with it. The Opioid epidemic story can be made into a totally different film and it would surely be an interesting one. But in Crisis, it doesn’t make any sense. The whole film is a mess that could have been saved on paper but it’s already on the screen and it’s too late.
Crisis is a 2021 crime film directed by Nicholas Jarecki. The film isn’t available online.
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