Tommy and Gary are criminals engaging in grand thefts in order to make ends meet. They are opportunists and have no fear. After a routine robbery goes awry, the friends are forced to put their criminal activity behind them. As Tommy’s relationship flourishes with his new girlfriend Scarlet, his economic hardships become obvious. Scarlet soon proposes a notion that will make all their money troubles vanish – the heist of a half a million dollar painting. With just a short window of opportunity, Tommy and Gary design an ambitious plan, one that will ultimately determine their fate.
It’s been a while since I have been able to go to the movies enough to review anything on the site. However, I was recently offered a chance to screen director Prince Bagdasarian‘s latest multi-nominated, multi-award winning heist thriller, Abstraction, and I could not resist. It took a few weeks because of my own obligations but I finally got around to seeing it. And overall, I was genuinely pleased at its delivery.
The relationships between our main characters are taken through varying dynamics as the bond of friendship is tested with each moment, and the romances that happen along the way. For example, the initial appearances of characters, Tommy, Gary, and Sean (Hunter Ives, Richard Manriquez and Sam Puefua) show us their unique friendship bonded by a history of some pretty bad behavior where trust is an only option, which ultimately solidifies their bond. That trust is almost automatically put to the test when one of them is caught by the cops following a fumbled robbery job for their boss, Marlon (Alfred Rubin Thompson). Some time passes as two of our main characters make their getaway following a toxic pay day and choose to lay low and out of the crime business long enough for things to settle, that is, until a beautiful woman named Scarlet (Korrina Rico) walks into their lives, which changes everything.
The friendship between Tommy and Gary often gets testy as they both share polarizing character traits, which leaves you wondering just how it is they get along, especially with Gary’s own questionable motives from time to time despite his loyalty. It’s the driving force of the entire film which makes it all the more enjoyable along the way, in addition to the three-way drama that occurs with Scarlet in the mix.
The action does picks up a few times throughout the film, from the first scene that briefly introduces actor Manu Intiraymi in some fisticuffs with Puefua who shows off his own skills as a bonafide stuntman on top of his acting. We also get to see a raging, shotgun-blasting Eric Roberts, and some pretty awesome chase sequences that build up a little more toward the end of the film. And though there are just a few small plot holes in some scenes, they don’t take away from the film, and after all is said and done, the drama finally unfolds, we know who all the players are, and all the hands are dealt.
With Abstraction, we are presented with a great line-up of characters, and an excellent formula for just the kind of intensity, drama, suspense, tragedy and thrills that filmgoers can look forward to in a crime picture. The music and visuals illustrate a perfect foundation for what the concept of the film really is, highlit by the depths of our emotions when we perceive what we think is, as opposed to what they really are, and the feelings they trigger.
For his first feature-length film, Bagdasarian does a terrific job from start to finish, showing he knows what it takes to put a great film together with great performances that will keep you entertained and guessing until the closing act. Definitely worth a look when it is finally released on VOD and DVD later this year.
Abstraction is written, produced & directed by Prince Bagdasarian and stars actor Hunter Ives, actress Korrina Rico, actor and producer Richard Manriquez and actress Natalie Victoria, with Sam Puefua, Ken Davitian, Manu Intiraymi James Lewis, Alfred Rubin Thompson and Academy Award® Nominee Eric Roberts rounding out the cast.
Feel free to read my interview with the director by clicking HERE, and for more information on Abstraction, visit the official website.
When I first started Film Combat Syndicate, I didn’t know where it would go at first. I never imagined myself talking to actors and stunt performers, though being an action fan, that’s the way things have evolved.