A 3 part film revolving around Dr. Tyrone Brower (Gary Oldman, Jake Kelly (Armie Hammer) and Claire Reimann (Evangeline Lilly.
The film is confusing early on, like when Clair finds her self at a dance location being twisted around as she attempts to locate a young man who she believes knew her son, who has OD according to the the official report, but not in her mind.
Director Nicholas Jarecki mixes the various stories as the plot begins and rather than creating three straight lines, he breads confusion as to who is doing what and who needs to be looked upon as a bad guy.
But the film gets better as time goes by, (that is unusual) but here the plot and script begin to mix and un-mix the further we move into the passion of the three leading characters.
Each is touched by pain killing drugs, Claire when her son is found dead, Jake as a federal agent fighting to limit the import of the deadly medicine, as well as attempting to save his little sister who is playing with danger using a needle. Dr. Brower heads a lab that is testing a new pain killer that appears to have possibilities and brings money to his university from drug companies who fund his research.
Brower has prestige and a good living with true testing of new proposed drugs which has brought significant financial support to the university from drug producing companies. It all works when the products are effective and not dangerous.
Greg Kinnear is Geoff Talbot the president of the university who doesn’t want to loose the $750,000 fee for the new product which Dr Brower’s lab is in the process of testing.
All three lives collapse as Jake works undercover with the cartel that is stationed in Montreal and lead by folks that are very willing to dispose of non-loyal members. Claire who is constantly irrational, is determined to find who is responsible for the loss of her son traces the path her son took that leads her to the underworld leader responsible. It’s Jake’s work that forces the two to cross paths both working in differing ways to eliminate the leader of the gang.
Dr Brower a sometimes confused character is non-the-less determined no matter the personal loss, to expose the negative results his lab has found with the new drug. He must fight the power of the successful drug company and the FDA the federal agency that approves new drugs.
With the helpless feeling similar to Requiem For A Dream with Jennifer Connelly and Ellen Burstyn and a little hope from Michail Douglas’ Traffic Crisis is worth following but it could have been better.