I’m not quite sure if Pawn has a simple plot at its core which has been intentionally overcomplicated by stylized filmmaking, or if it is an over-complicated plot which is laid out in sloppy narrative manner. Either way, Pawn has more potential than it seems to know what to do with. Perhaps this is due to the fact that this is cinematographer David A. Armstrong’s first attempt at directing. Pawn looks great but rarely matches up in other areas. For one thing, the acting is uneven at best, despite a star-studded cast.
The film takes place almost entirely in a diner late at night. There is the usual cast of characters in the diner, though we soon find that there is much more going on than it seems. When a cop (Forest Whitaker) walks into the diner and notices that all of the customers are distressed, it is quite clear that the place is being robbed, but the plot is much more convoluted than that.
A group of British thugs (led by an occasionally convincing Michael Chiklis) enter the diner to rob it, but they are there for something in the safe other than money. This item is valuable enough to peak the interest of the cops and the local mob bosses (Ray Liotta among others). It may also provide an escape for one of the unfortunate diner hostages (Sean Faris), who the police mistakenly believe is behind the robbery turned hostage situation. Add in a hostage negotiator (Common), mistaken identities and a pregnant wife and you have most of the film in a nutshell.
The Blu-ray includes a behind-the-scenes featurette.
Entertainment Value: 6/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 5/10
Historical Significance: 2/10
Disc Features: 2/10
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