Somewhere in the sands outside Tucson is a half-million-dollars’ worth of stolen diamonds. That could be a big score for the characters in “Misfortune,” a low-budget showcase for director, co-writer and star Desmond Devenish. Viewers, though, will find the setup more rewarding than the payoff.
A stark prologue featuring two AARP-eligible thugs reveals how the jewels were nabbed, and how the thieves then turned on each other. Seven years later, one of them, Mallick (Kevin Gage), has been paroled and plans to grab the gems from Boyd (Devenish), the son of his late partner-in-crime. Boyd never had the loot, but with Mallick gunning for him, he guesses where it is. So he heads into the wilderness with his sexy new girlfriend (Jenna Kanell) and a buddy with gang connections (co-writer Xander Bailey). Offering counsel is a veteran outlaw played by musician-actor Steve Earle, the cast’s most famous member.
Boyd’s the quiet type, and this desert-set film noir is similarly taciturn. There’s little Tarantino-style dialogue as the players prowl through nicely composed, neatly suspenseful set pieces. Perhaps more banter would have helped sustain interest. As the body count burgeons, the surprises become unsurprising, and the climax proves anticlimactic.
Unrated. At the Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market. Contains violence and obscenity.
In English and a bit of unsubtitled Spanish. 88 minutes.