13 – Unlucky Me

Rating (2 out of 5)

Summary: I watched this film on TUBI and decided to try “13”. The premise of the movie caught my attention. “13” provides the backdrop for a potentially moving thriller but the director/writer failed to execute effectively on the base simple concept. If you like social experiment movies, then you might want to watch this film at some point in your lifetime, if not avoid “13” at all costs.

Plot: Vince’s (Sam Riley) dad is in the hospital and requires another life-saving surgery the family can’t afford. Vince eavesdrops on a client, who receives an envelope containing a secret to make money quick. When his client dies of a heart attack, Vince steps in. Unknown to Vince, the make money quick scheme is a game of Russian Roulette for the rich. Will Vince live through the night?

Detail: “13” runs a mere hour and 30 minutes longs. The satisfactory setup provide the reason for Vince to pursue money at all costs. However, the movie could have done without the police being involved. The police really didn’t add any value and took up valuable time.

The film failed to provide sufficient background about the other contestants and sponsors. They tried a with the contestant Jefferson (Mickey Rourke) but they failed to provide him a compelling background that the audience wants him to win. If the police are eliminated, the script could have spent some extra time making the contestants equally as needy as Vince adding more tension during the Russion Roulette tournament.

I didn’t completely understand the betting schemes. If they had provided a little more clarity the audience would have understood the stakes more. The gambling could have been enhanced which would have added a bit of dark humor. For example, they could have had how many people die in the first round or “13” kills two people, etc.

Jefferson and his bodyguard/watcher Jimmy (50 Cent) shared an awkward relationship. Neither character was particularly appealing so their relationship wasn’t very compelling. The whole movie fails to deliver anything compelling.

Where the movie shines is the moments when the participants are on stage, all with guns pointed to their heads waiting for the light to indicate it is time to pull the trigger. The tension before and after the rounds was great.