Hollywood in Toto

‘Most Wanted’ Reminds Us Quality Journalism Matters

It’s surreal to see a movie the place a journalist focuses on the reality, not his most well-liked narrative.

It helps that “Most Wanted” is predicated on a decades-old story, one showcasing the ability of reporters with their hearts in the appropriate place.

Even higher?

A blast of atypical casting, from a former heartthrob to a comic turned character actor, grants the story much more shades of grey. And this movie’s coronary heart is coal black from the opening scene and solely grows darker from there.

Antoine Olivier Pilon stars as Daniel, a low-level junkie determined for a rating and a few money, and positively in that order. He stumbles throughout a vendor who sees promise in his wide-eyed stare. Yes, that’s comic Jim Gaffigan enjoying Picker, a thug with sufficient connections to reel Daniel in.

Picker proves alternately merciless and compassionate, and the genial comedian sells each body of these transitions. Daniel has larger drawback than placating his new boss. A cagey cop (Stephen McHattie) feels strain from his superiors to nab some large time drug sellers, stat. So he leans on Picker and Daniel, hoping to justify his division’s flailing drug operation, dubbed Goliath.

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And they may simply get away with it, too, if it weren’t for a hard-nosed journalist from the Globe & Mail. Josh Hartnett’s Victor Malarek is immediately grating. He swaggers across the information room as if the entrance web page is his and his alone.

Turns out Victor is likely to be the one probability Daniel has after a visit to Thailand goes oh, so unsuitable for him.


“Inspired” by actual occasions, “Most Wanted” takes a great, lengthy whereas to clear its narrative throat. We watch Daniel navigate the drug underworld and surprise if he can survive lengthy sufficient to promote a single kilo. Pilon provides the character a way of despair, however there’s a lightweight behind his eyes that by no means dims. It’s an enchanting efficiency, one which grows with each difficult scene.

Writer/director Daniel Roby isn’t right here to hawk a simplistic story of redemption. The movie’s narrative construction sounds zany on paper. The storylines zig and zag, overlapping or reversing themselves in ways in which ought to depart viewers woozy. Instead, Roby leverages that method to gin up rigidity and showcase Daniel’s ethical evolution.

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Roby’s digital camera work by no means dazzles, however his artistic decisions regularly win us over. A jail struggle that ought to be a disposable second proves something however. Roby’s resolution to make use of excessive close-ups within the waning moments tremendous costs the courtroom.

FAST FACT: Roby envisioned casting a comic to play Picker, noting the character’s extreme temper swings. Keeping a straight face between takes, although, proved a tall process with Gaffigan on set.

It helps that Hartnett matures into Victor’s mission, navigating the character’s ego within the course of. The actor’s profession could have cooled over time, however he’s not often been higher on display.

“Most Wanted,” offered north of the border as “Target Number One,” affords a grasp class in casting. The leads all ship as required, however even the smaller elements flesh out Daniel’s harrowing journey. Sometimes these touches matter most in a movie like this, the place paranoia and discomfort flood our senses.

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Roby orchestrates the mayhem with readability and a way of objective, and it’s unattainable to not be drawn into Daniel’s plight.

HiT or Miss: “Most Wanted” takes an excessive amount of time to search out its voice, however as soon as it does it’s an expertly crafted story of delayed justice.

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