Happenstance is a fun thing. I left a good Alex Gibney documentary this morning -- "Mea Maxima Culpa" -- about a Milwaukee priest, the hundreds of deaf boys he molested, and the Catholic Church's coverup of all such abuse, and it's Gibney's most chilling, strongly argued movie since "Taxi to the Dark Side." Afterward, in the hallway, I saw a friend on her way into something called "Everybody Has a Plan," an Argentine film whose festival street name is "The Viggo Mortensen Twin Movie." I just wanted to eat. She couldn't resist Viggo, and I can't resist her, so there we sat, watching the least plausible, most shameless use of star twins since Antonio Banderas faked being brothers in "Two Much."
The writer and director of "Everybody Has a Plan" is Ana Piterbarg, and I'm not sure she did. Mortensen plays brothers: a physician named Pedro and a ne'er-do-well beekeeper named Agustín. They're estranged, but Agustín shows up at his brother's door with cancer that's bad but not so bad that he stops smoking. What follows isn't worth seeing, but the movie is sure to win American distribution, so it's not worth ruining, either. Mortensen is peaking as an actor -- at least with David Cronenberg he is. He can do heavy and light at the same time. He can do funny and grave. He's fine here, but Piterbarg doesn't give him or any of the other actors much to do that isn't illogical. Why does Agustín go down out to his brother's shack? Why does he impersonate him? Why does no one notice that, despite the resemblance, he and Pedro are nothing alike? Why go along with the kidnapping plot concocted by a nasty childhood friend? Eventually, it's like watching an episode of the "Rockford Files" with twins and no case to solve.
From there, it was off to a documentary about the narcotics industry called "How to Make Money Selling Drugs." The title isn't kidding. The movie's an instructional film for how to break into the drug business, rise to the top, and stay there. It's broken into chapters whose design and sound effects come from video games. Actual former drug dealers, including the rapper 50 Cent, explain how they did their jobs. The glibness gradually burns off, and the director and narrator, Matthew Cooke, spends 20 minutes persuasively arguing what others before have hypothesized, that the entire industry changes once drug are legalized and that the federal government is as addicted to the money spent to fight it as junkies are to the supply. That's a different movie, one I wish Cooke had made instead.
About Movie Nation
ContributorsTy Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.
Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.
Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.
Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.
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