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The Poison Rose

The Poison Rose: A Stellar-Cast Movie, but Is It Worth Watching?

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Yasmeen Mamdouh
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The Poison Rose: A Stellar-Cast Movie, but Is It Worth Watching?

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To the audience, a stellar-cast movie is a equal to a great movie, but after several films that proved otherwise, audiences have become suspicious of movies with stellar casts, because either they are really good or really bad. The Poison Rose has a stellar cast, but which is it?

The Poison Rose follows former quarterback-turned-private-investigator Carson Phillips (John Travolta), who is hired to investigate the suspected disappearance of an old lady in his own hometown. Philips hasn’t been home in almost 20 years and what he discovers goes much deeper than just a missing old lady.

The plot builds up layers and layers of suspects, secrets and murders, however, they are neither plausible nor entertaining. The supposed conspiracy that is revealed in the film is worn out and not surprising, which takes away from the plot’s supposedly captivating events and leaves audiences waiting to get to the end point that they can already guess. The feature does try to instill some “twists” all the way to the very end, but the audience were not interested from the start.

It starts with Carson Phillips expositional narration about his vices and his current life, giving off the impression that the film might delve deep into his psyche and his messed-up life. Audiences soon learn it isn’t, instead, the film is about the conspiracy in Phillips’ hometown which makes the narration seem like a useless shortcut to get the audiences to get to know Phillips.

Another major issue with The Poison Rose is characterization; even though the audience gets to know about the characters’ backgrounds, none of them really has a distinctive life, or intriguing interest. This leads audiences to not care at all about the film because they really do not become interested in its characters.

For the acting, John Travolta had the same facial expression throughout the film, barely showed any emotions if at all and was a one string banjo. Playing powerhouse casino owner Doc, Morgan Freeman was plausible and charismatic just as in almost all his performances, but his performance in The Poison Rose was still unable to salvage it from its dullness. Playing Phillips’ high school sweetheart, Jane, Famke Janssen added some mystery and depth to her performance, where audiences did not really know for sure about her character’s intentions, but her performance was still not strong enough to be memorable.

In the end, The Poison Rose wastes a cast full of big names with an implausibly complicated story riddled with lifeless characters.

Like This? Try

Night Hunter (2018), The Commuter (2018), Cold Pursuit (2019).

360 Tip

The first on-screen collaboration between John Travolta and Morgan Freeman.

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