Review by James Lindorf
Crown and Anchor stars Michael Rowe (Arrow, The Flash) as James Downey, the son of an abusive father struggling to live a disciplined, straight-laced but lonely life in Toronto, far from his tiny hometown. His cousin Danny (Matt Wells, Scars) has a wife, kids, an addiction to cocaine and an intense hatred for James. The pair is reunited after the death of James’ mother, Rose, who both men loved dearly, but instead of reconciliation, Danny’s addiction and petty crimes bring violent consequences down on the entire family.
Crown and Anchor was directed by Andrew Rowe, Michael’s brother, written by the siblings along with Wells. This character-driven drama about a dysfunctional family and their circle of violence over multiple generations will be released on September 12th.
There is so much to like about Crown and Anchor, this is the first feature-length film for Andrew Rowe, but I think he did an excellent job. The film had a great look to it, thanks to cinematographer Adam Penney, for whom this was also a first-time feature film. Michael Rowe was good, but his character James was a bit stiff and hard to relate to. However, Michael did some great acting with his face to convey the rage bubbling below the surface.
All that being said, the real revelation was Matt Wells who carried the dramatic weight of the film and reminded me of Ben Foster in Alpha Dog. Danny is hard to like. We watch him make poor decision after poor decision, but Wells provided real humanity to Danny, making the audience want to see him do better even if we wouldn’t want to be around him.
The biggest drawback to this film is that it tries to do too much. There are too many random connections and unnecessary backstory elements as the three writers tried to connect every single dot to every other dot. Then at one point, there are 10 uninterrupted and needless minutes spent on a conversation between James and his father that provides no closure or growth for either character and has zero impact on the story.
I think there will be a lot of people that will really like this movie; however, if they trimmed it from 2-hours to 90-minutes, I think many people would love it. I hope Crown and Anchor will get the attention it deserves when it is available on the 12th.
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