Tyler Johnston (top) and Julian Domingues can’t beat The Odds.
THE ODDS (Simon Davidson). 92 minutes. Opens Friday (March 2). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: N
Director Simon Davidson deals a losing hand in this murder mystery about gambling teens who have way too much time to kill. The Odds is a bad knock-off of Rian Johnson's high school noir Brick, with all the whodunnit clichés but none of the cool.
Tyler Johnston stars as Desson, a 17-year-old smooth operator who still attends classroom detentions and drinks rum and coke instead of the bookie's typical bourbon (among the film's few nice touches). Desson works alongside teenage bookies and card sharks to profit from his peers. After a friend ends up dead, he goes on the prowl for the murderer among his classmates.
The Odds takes its hokey material far too seriously - at least Brick was a bit tongue-in-cheek. Davidson attempts to craft a mature thriller with immature characters. If that paradox is supposed to be profound, it fails, since the movie offers little insight into suburban kids dabbling in crime for kicks. Peer pressure and poverty are rarely at stake here.
Certainly urban high schools have their fair share of enterprising, young offenders, but the real deal is easier to take seriously than these boys, who seem like they walked off the set of Degrassi with too much of their allowance to burn.