Chris Pine has made the leap from acting to directing with his new movie Poolman, which recently had its premiere at Toronto Film Festival. Pine has also written, produced, and is starring in the new comedic take on a noir mystery – so the buck very much stops with him. Unfortunately, the early reviews are less than favorable.
Chris Pine has assembled an impressive cast for Poolman, which includes Jennifer Jason Leigh, Danny DeVito, and Annette Bening. But that’s not been enough to save it from a current rating of just 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, from 20 reviews. The only Pine movie with a lower rating is the 2006 teen rom-com Just My Luck starring Lindsay Lohan, which has 14%.
Poolman is a neo-noir set in Los Angeles which focuses on a water heist, which will bring inevitable comparisons to the Jack Nicholson masterpiece Chinatown. However, it’s also a comedy movie, so has more in common with the likes of The Nice Guys, Under the Silver Lake, and the little-known Joe Carnahan movie Stretch – which Pine himself had a supporting role in.
Even the bad reviews spend a lot of time comparing it to the Coen Brothers‘ The Big Lebowski – but it sounds as though it does not reach anything close to those heights. Michael Rechtsheffen of The Hollywood Reporter says that Poolman “goes tonally off the rails from the start and proceeds to hit bottom with excruciating momentum.”
Siddhant Adlakha of IndieWire pulls no punches, proclaiming that Poolman “will likely go down as one of the worst films to play at any major festival in recent memory.” Owen Gleiberman of Variety agrees, saying that Poolman “is not only the worst film I saw during the fall festival season but would likely be one of the worst films in any year it came out.” It sounds as though it’s not going to be making any lists of the best thriller movies.
Chris Evans has also directed a movie – 2014’s Before We Go – which has 29% on Rotten Tomatoes. Therefore, Hemsworth and Pratt will need to have a good long think before transitioning behind the camera.