The Odds

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March 2, 2012
Reviewed by Marc Glassman

The Odds
Simon Davidson, director & writer
Starring: Tyler Johnson (Desson Orr), Julia Maxwell (Colleen), Calum Worthy (Barry), Jaren Brandt Bartlett (Paul)

The buzz
When this film premiered at TIFF last fall, the talk was about a young director-writer, Simon Davidson, moving up from festival worthy short films to features with a cast of young talents trained in TV, led by Tyler Johnson, who is in Less Than Kind and has appeared in Flashpoint, Smallville and Supernatural.

The genre
Murder mystery; teen-age gambling drama

The premise
Desson Orr (Tyler Johnson) is upset and suspicious when his best pal Barry is found dead, an apparent suicide. Des knows that Barry is a gambler—as are many kids at their high school. Despite the fact that Des is in cahoots with the teen gambling ring’s host Paul, he starts asking questions that lead him to the adult gangster who is really behind the gambling—and may have had something to do with Barry’s demise.

The performances
Good. Everyone is professional: this is a generation of TV actors. But no one stands out in the plot, not even Tyler Johnson.

The direction
Davidson moves the film briskly and directs the actors reasonably well. He’s talented but The Odds doesn’t show that he’s ready for primetime just yet.

The skinny
This is a TV movie writ large. It doesn’t have the chops of a feature film but will look fine on TMN and other specialty channels in three months. And on DVD, too, of course.

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