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  • Warning: Spoilers
    I liked the movie, I have seen better ones and I've seen worse ones, overall it was okay. I'm a big Colin Hanks fan and I loved seeing him not play a geek or shy guy for once. His character was funny and I loved his performance (but then again, I'm biased). Eric Balfour didn't really impress me, I didn't really get into his character or could care for what he went through. Lauren German was okay - I liked her chemistry with both guys and her acting was believable. The two gay drug dealers are the best - at first you have to laugh at their antics but then later, they prove that it is not good to try and mess with dealers or steal their money.

    I'd say this movie is a possible choice for a fun Friday with friends, popcorn and coke.
  • I'm not sure what "Rx" stands for, but in New Zealand, the film is released as "Simple Lies" which is an appropriate title, as lies are plentiful in this slick thriller in which three early-20 year-olds venture to Mexico with various intentions, mainly which involve getting drugs to take back to the States and sell for a profit.

    Eric Balfour stars as Andrew, who has come into financial issues, and plans to buy drugs in Mexico to take back to the States and sell, which is unknown to his girlfriend, Melissa, played by Lauren German, who goes to Mexico with him, along with their friend Jonny (Colin Hanks) who knows the two drug dealers they are going to meet, while Melissa thinks they are going to Mexico just for a big party.

    Without giving too much away, something goes horribly wrong on the way back to the States, so before they reach the border, they turn back into Mexico, where they return to the drug dealers, Pepe (Alan Tudyk) and Raul (Ori Pfeffer), which puts strain on the relationship between Andrew and Melissa. Our protagonists are forced to fight for their lives, resulting in a dramatic and tragic ending.

    I say dramatic and tragic, because even though what Andrew does is morally wrong, he is still a very good person, as he does what he does for what he thinks are the right reasons. Balfour does a great job of conveying Andrew's plight, German and Hanks are both good in their roles, but Balfour is without a doubt the star of the film. The characters of the drug dealers Pepe and Raul are so incredibly annoying that I was practically cheering when they got their cometh-upeth. Overall, a very decent thriller which showcases Balfour's talents well.
  • Although headlined by a talented cast and set in the backdrop of the beautiful Mexican countryside, this film falls short of its goal. Although the director obviously holds high hopes of his film becoming a dark, gritty, drug-smuggling drama, he is too quick to protect a reputation he does not yet have, and instead "Rx" becomes a mediocre, unfeeling, eye-rolling soap opera. From the opening frames of our main characters dancing and laughing together on a ridge overlooking a sunrise to the rolling titles, this film is filled with one let down after another. Just when you think things are getting interesting, you are forced to sigh, roll your eyes, and check the timer on your DVD player to see when this agony will be over. The only redeemable quality within this film is the performance that comes from Mr.Eric Balfour, whose portrayal of Andrew, the kid who's smuggling drugs from Mexico to try an help out his parents, is emotional, believable, and quite frankly, the only thing that keeps this film afloat, at least until its disappointing and abrupt ending. All in all, "Rx" is made up of an unprovocative script fulfilled with unimaginative directing and unoriginal acting. Not a complete waste of time, I enjoyed it. But not an Oscar contender by any means.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This is a very nice looking film where a couple of supporting characters are far more interesting than the stars of the show and the filmmakers apparently didn't realize who was the real villain of their story. It's got a quintet of winning performances, a worthwhile moral and creates engaging relationships that draw you into the movie. A little too sparse on details, too dependent on mood and with an ending that falls fairly flat, Rx is nonetheless swift and direct enough to grab your interest and hold onto it.

    Andrew (Eric Balfour) is a poor college student in Southern California with a hipster chin beard and a job as a valet. With Melissa (Lauren German), his high school girlfriend from an upper middle class family, and their drug dealing, third wheel buddy Johnny (Colin Hanks), Eric sets out for Mexico. They tell Melissa it's for a party but Andrew and Johnny are also going to do a drug deal. It's a run-of-the-mill trip for Johnny until Andrew pulls out a wad of bills and asks for a lot more pills than Johnny expected. Andrew needs the drugs to sell in order to save his mom and dad from financial ruin. But things go wrong as they try and smuggle the pills back across the boarder and Andrew makes one horribly bad decision after another until there's no way all three friends are getting out of Mexico alive.

    It's usually not a good sign when the best things about a film are a couple of supporting characters and that's somewhat true of Rx. Alan Tudyk and Ori Pfeffer play Pepe and Raul, a couple of gay, expatriate, Eurotrash drug dealers pushing prescription pills and holding costume parties in a Mexican village so small it's not even listed on the maps. I don't know if it's the script or the performers, but there's so much more energy and depth and nuance to Pepe and Raul than there is to Andrew, Melissa and Johnny. This drug dealing duo feel like real people unique to this story, while the main characters feel like they could have been cut and pasted out of a dozen other films. Eric Balfour, Lauren German and Colin Hanks do an admirable job and building up the friendship and love between their characters, but this film tells you next to nothing about them characters nor gives you a reason to want to know more. On the other hand, I bet anyone who watches this comes away wishing they could have seen more of Pepe and Raul.

    I also don't think that co-writer/director Ariel Vromen appreciated that Andrew eventually reveals himself as the movie's true villain. Not only are almost all of the terrible things that happen Rx the fault of Andrew, but there's a moment when he engages in deliberate betrayal for his own ends. At that point, I realized that Andrew was a bad guy who deserved to have bad things happen to him. This film never quite figured that out, which results in an ending where Andrew is supposed to play the hero not making any moral, ethical or dramatic sense. When the audience doesn't care if the character under threat lives or dies, it's impossible to generate any tension or suspense.

    But while the ending of Rx doesn't work out, the beginning is a minor joy to behold. This isn't a horror movie but anyone looking to make one would do well to study the first half of this film. It does an excellent job of establishing a bright surface with a just barely perceptible tone of impending doom underneath. You get the sense something bad is going to happen, yet you're not sure and that lends an edge of excitement to everything on screen.

    Additionally, Rx is very well shot, directed and even edited. It's not necessarily all that flashy or eye catching, but the way the images are framed and the way the story is goosed along at just the right moment with humor or drama or violence is very skillful.

    If its main characters had been at all intriguing and there'd been a lot more meat on the bones of this plot, Rx would have been an exceptional low budget flick. As it is, it's a passable diversion but not much more than that.
  • Nothing is more tiresome than wasting ninety minutes viewing a predictably vacuous hipster road flick. One finds it annoying having to come up with ten lines of text to critique this silly piece of fluff. RX is a low-rent Maria Full of Grace. This unimaginative film seems as though it was computer-programmed to appeal to a demographic weaned on stylish music videos and suburban dreams of transgression. The movie has a predictable look, a predictable sound track, a predictable bunch of characters and a predictable plot-line. Utterly forgettable, this product has a half-life of six months and is destined for the dustbin of the spent diversions of the global youth culture.
  • Andrew is a college student in California (though he looks a little old to be a traditional student) who works in a hotel and is apparently some distance away from his parents, who have financial problems. His options for continuing his education are limited. He lives with Melissa, who seems to have a job, but whatever they make, it is not enough. With their friend Jonny, they decide to take a trip in a blue Corvair to Mexico, with the apparent intent of partying, but there is one additional stop to make.

    Pepe is a drug dealer who is quite a character. He also has parties, but that's not why they are visiting. Pepe can sell them $2000 worth of a certain drug which they can take back to the States and sell for a profit, solving Andrew's problems. But to get the drugs past the border guards, Andrew and Jonny have to do something very unpleasant. Actually, Jonny didn't have to do anything but he felt bad for his friend.

    So the road trip resumes, and the friends get to party, but there are problems, and a return to Pepe's place is required. Pepe is having his own party--a costume party--so the friends have to put on costumes. It's not as funny as it sounds, but anyway ...

    Carlos is a mechanic the friends meet on one of their first stops, and they encounter him later. The Corvair has some minor damage the first time, and Carlos would be happy to fix it, but Andrew says no. The friends really need Carlos on their second trip through his town, which has turned into quite an adventure.

    So will the group succeed in their mission? Or will they at least get out of Mexico alive?

    This movie is an adventure, but not really a fun one. Most of the time it can be quite depressing, at least when the friends aren't on the run toward or away from something. There is humor, most of it provided by Pepe and his obviously gay friend (Pepe also seems gay but it's not as obvious). The friend seems German but the only name in the cast list that would seem to fit is Raul. Anyway, he's tough and strong despite his feminine behavior. These two would seem to be the most obvious reason to watch.

    I know Colin Hanks from two TV roles: an uptight cop with a rebellious partner, and a fairly normal husband and father with a quirky wife, parents and siblings. Here, he has long hair and is somewhat reckless, but he is slightly more logical than his friend. It took me a while to recognize him (in his other roles he looks and talks just like his father), but he definitely shows signs of his father's talent here.

    Lauren German also shows talent. Her character is the voice of reason but can't seem to get through to the others. She cares about them but the terrible situations they get themselves into upset her a lot. Still, she does her best to remain strong.

    I'm not familiar with Eric Balfour but he does a good job as well. Andrew is one dangerous character and he's lucky to have Melissa.

    I want to single out a cute little girl trying to raise money at the U.S.-Mexico border as well.

    There was so much cursing sometimes I couldn't tell what was going on for all the interruptions in the sound, which of course were accompanied by obscured faces when it happened. But with the drug references we already knew this was not fit for family viewing. There is occasional violence as well.

    There was music for just about every taste. I liked a lot of the Spanish language music and judging from the number of times I saw the word Mariachi in the credits, that must have been the style. Some of the other music I didn't care for.

    If you like desert scenery with some green, there's plenty of that. I prefer lots more trees myself.

    If you like adventure and can stand not to laugh too much, this might be for you.
  • This is a lousy flick.

    The three main characters were especially irritating. I only continued watching in the hope that I would get some enjoyment out of watching them suffer once things started going wrong. Unfortunately,the level of suffering they endured did not match the poverty of their acting ability or the superficiality of the characters they played. They were not helped by a lousy script. The plot, although not highly original, did have some potential for suspense and interest, however this was never realised in this film. No one involved in this film deserves ever to work in the movie industry again.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    ***could contain unintentional but possibly or, sooner, probably inconsequential spoilers***.

    It is almost unbelievable to consider that the director of this movie would go on to make a movie as compelling as The Iceman, but I guess that Ariel Vroman deserves a lot of points for not having given up after Rx.

    Having spent 90 minutes of my life watching Rx, based on the great impression created by The Iceman, I'm led to wonder whether Vroman learned by his mistakes, or if it is possible that the investors hacked Rx into the boring unsatisfactory mess of a story that it ends up being. He simply must have had better unrealized intentions here.

    It's not the fault of the lead actors. While Eric Balfour isn't well known as a box office inspiration, he is a capable and likable actor who showed particular thespian skill during his run on Six Feet Under. Colin Hanks was born with not only the gene but also the will to be an exceptionally capable actor. His performance as Doug in Alone With Her is masterpiece creepiness, showing the actor's willingness to take the risk of sacrificing likable popularity in order to display his acting chops. Lauren German is, likewise, a competent skilled performer--who delivers the most humanly real performance of all in Rx, despite being starved of substantial lines.

    For anyone who feels the need, as I did, to check out Vroman's work before The Iceman, you can skip Rx. In fact, if the plot had focused on Melissa's (German) trip to Mexico, it might even seem like a better class of Lifetime movie; and that, right there, is the problem with Rx--it lacks focus, while pretending, through all of its 90 minutes, to eventually come to a conclusive point.

    I could go into more detail about Rx's failings--and they are many--but it has already robbed me of too much precious time. Skip it, unless you should find yourself somehow trapped, somewhere, with only one channel and the only thing on is Rx.
  • I know the big struggles independent filmmakers often have trying to make movies, so I don't want to come across as a grouch concerning this movie. But quite frankly, I just don't think this movie succeeds. The main problem with the movie is the script. For starters, it is badly paced - the first half of the movie is really padded out, so much so that viewers will quickly become impatient by the movie's seeming reluctance to throw in some kind of conflict. The second half of the movie is a little more successful, with big problems coming up for the protagonists and a few scenes of (mild) suspense. But ultimately, this half of the movie does not succeed because of another problem with the screenplay - the protagonists are annoying. They fail to generate even a little bit of sympathy from the audience, being stupid and law-breakers. I will admit that the movie even during its first (slow) half is not boring, and it looks good for what was a rock bottom budget. But ultimately, there seems to be no point to this movie. It isn't insightful, it isn't really all that entertaining, and it's only slightly more engaging than watching a blank wall for 85 minutes.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I saw this movie at the San Diego Film Festival, and am not sure it has been officially released in the US, despite this being a couple of years ago. This movie is not terrible, and starts off fairly strong, actually. It also unfolds in a pretty realistic manner, however, it does not really tell its viewer anything new (involving yourself with drugs or crime or both is especially dangerous when in a foreign country), and also is not just tragic, but depressing.

    The story centers around three friends: Andrew, his friend Jonny, and girlfriend Melissa. At the beginning of the story, Andrew is having money problems, and decides he can make a little extra money by buying drugs in Mexico and smuggling them back into the US (ala Maria Full of Grace, a far better movie which dealt with similar material). The three were planning to go into Mexico anyways for a party, and he feels that such a thing will not be a big deal, nor very difficult. Of course things go very wrong for the three friends and then go from bad to worse. **Spoiler Alert!!!! Please skip the rest of this paragraph if you don't want to ruin the plot** Jonny gets sick very suddenly just as the trio are nearing the border. Some of the drugs he swallowed burst inside him and he dies of an overdose. Andrew and Melissa are forced to return to the drug dealers (two bizarre, gay, German characters) who are extremely angry Andrew has returned after things went wrong and refuse him a refund because he already swallowed the drugs. At this point, Andrew makes another dangerous decision by trying to steal from the drug dealers and run away with Melissa. The two are chased by both the dealers and police, separated and cross paths a final time for a conclusion at the border.

    While I did end up personally caring about the characters a little, this movie simply cannot be watched without thinking that these characters have made very bad choices and gotten in way over their own heads. As mentioned before, the results are not simply plausible, but to a good degree predictable. Were the story more compelling, or simply told in a more interesting way we might care more what happens to these characters, but given the choices they've made, the viewer simply cannot help but just watch and think to themselves that whatever happens, these people deserve it. The movie simply is not very exciting, despite its story of danger and pursuit, and so depressing is the tone and message, that one has to wonder who this movie was made for. What audience can a movie like this really have? All things aside, the performances are all quite solid, Eric Balfour is convincing as Andrew, the story's protagonist who makes some very poor decisions and is forced to pay for them heavily. Colin Hanks is also good as Jonny, though he actually has very little screen time and exits the story quite early. Finally, Lauren German as Melissa provides the movie's heart, and is the only character who really does nothing bad. Andrew's only redemption comes as a result of her.