Mark Reviews Movies

Krystal

KRYSTAL

1 Star (out of 4)

Director: William H. Macy

Cast: Nick Robinson, Rosario Dawson, Grant Gustin, Tip "T.I." Harris, William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Kathy Bates, Jacob Latimore, William Fichtner

MPAA Rating: R (for language throughout, drug use, some nudity and brief sexuality)

Running Time: 1:30

Release Date: 4/13/18 (limited)


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Capsule review by Mark Dujsik | April 12, 2018

Where does one even begin with a movie like this? Krystal is a confounding experience. It opens with narration from Taylor (Nick Robinson), our 18-year-old protagonist, who says there are only two things we really need to know about him. It takes about five minutes to go through a list that numbers many more than two things.

The primary thing is that he has a heart condition that makes his heartbeat increase to dangerous levels when confronted with stress. This seems to be a manipulative move on the part of screenwriter Will Aldis to force us sympathize with the guy, because the movie mostly forgets about the heart condition after about 20 minutes or so (Obviously, it comes back for the climax).

It doesn't work, since Taylor spends the rest of the movie doing a bunch of morally questionable and immature things in order to win the affection of Krystal (Rosario Dawson), a woman with whom he falls instantly in love after seeing her on the beach wearing only a T-shirt. To be fair, that moment might be the only honest one in this whole mess.

After that, Taylor pretends to be an alcoholic so that he can get close to Krystal at her regular Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. He steals the speech and attitude of another speaker at a meeting, believing that Krystal, whose sole characterization is that she's trying to escape her life of addiction and stripping and sex-working, will be more attracted to a bad boy-in-reform.

He starts bonding with her 16-year-old son Bobby (Jacob Latimore), who has been confined to a wheelchair since his father drunkenly ran him over with a car. The whole time, Krystal's former boyfriend and/or pimp Willie (Tip "T.I." Harris) is trying to convince her to come back to him.

The movie is unwilling to admit that Taylor is potentially doing more damage to himself, to Krystal, and to pretty much everyone else in his sphere with this charade. He's an insufferable protagonist—a kid who has no clue about the world, is almost too comfortable in his constant lying, and, for no particular reason, has visions of a demon that might be real. Frustratingly and inexcusably, Krystal portrays Taylor as a noble, wounded hero for the deceptive lengths to which he'll go to satisfy his infatuation.

Copyright © 2018 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.

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