There’s a lot of fun to be had with writer/director Christian Sesma’s Paydirt. Headlined by Luke Goss and Val Kilmer, Sesma’s thriller plays like Ocean’s 11 filtered through a Quentin Tarantino prism. It’s not breaking any new ground, but it looks great and features good performances. Throw in a script which features some witty lines and you have yourself a solid little movie.
Paydirt sees Goss’ ex-con attempting to get the old gang back together in order to uncover $33 million which went missing from a Mexican drug cartel five years earlier. Meanwhile, Kilmer plays the retired sheriff who has an old score to settle with Goss and his crew.
Paydirt isn’t quite the action thriller which the poster and trailer would lead you to believe. It’s more of an energetic and witty character piece with double crosses and multiple flashbacks all done to a jazzy David Holmes-style score. Stefan Colson’s strong visuals (dusty deserts and orange hues) make this stand out more than a lot of similar films of this ilk. The plot might not be wholly original, but it is done with a certain amount of panache.
Luke Goss does strong work as the cool ex-con who always seems two steps ahead of everyone else in the film (even his own gang). It’s a low key turn, but Goss has the charisma to make this type of role work. The rest of his gang (The Brain, The Brawn, The Babe and The Badass) all have enough moments to ensure that they’re fully rounded characters and they all feel that they have a history together – especially the great double act of Mike Hatton and Paul Sloan (Brain and Brawn).
It’s always great to see Val Kilmer onscreen and his recent battle with throat cancer hasn’t diminished his ability to command the screen. Sadly a tracheostomy means that his dialogue has been replaced by another actor. Kilmer also gets to share the screen with his real-life daughter Mercedes in a pair of scenes which might not be necessary, but they add an extra layer to his troubled lawman.
A fun night at the movies, Paydirt is an entertaining diversion with a game cast. Christian Sesma’s movie features solid acting, a sparkling script along side snappy score and visuals.
Paydirt is in US theatres, on Demand and Digital ON 7 August and it arrives in the UK on 24 August.