Coming to Bluray from directors Francesco Cinquemani, George Gallo and Lionsgate is a story of the hazards of being a P.I. with THE POISON ROSE.
Carson Philips (John Travolta) is a self proclaimed private investigator who proclaims he ‘drinks to much, smokes to much and gambles to much’. In his office is a woman who wants Philips to investigate the nursing home Pleasant Meadows and the care of a relative. A chance to get out of town and a paid gig has him in the car driving to Galveston, Texas.
Arriving at the hospital he is met by Dr. Miles Mitchell (Brendan Frasier) who tells him that Barbara van Poole is in a therapy session. He also refreshes Philips memory that they went to school together and played a little football. Agreeing to call when she is out of therapy, he realizes the doctor isn’t exactly on the up and up.
Hitting up the local gambling joint he meets up with old poker friends Doc (Morgan Freeman), Chief Walsh (Robert Patrick) and Slide (Peter Stormare). He sees nothing has changed as the hustle and fights happen all around him. It’s back to the case however when he returns and confronts Dr. Mitchell on why he isn’t being allowed to see Barbara.
Seeing that he is going to have to take matters into his own hands, he immediately discovers that something nefarious is happening in the halls. Empty room and locked doors are everywhere but it’s the doctor’s office he needs to reach to find Barbara’s file. Now the reason behind hospital secrecy becomes even clearer.
He also meets the one person he didn’t intend to – his ex-wife Jayne (Famke Janssen) who wants to talk about a player Happy Chandler who had an accident on the football field. Daughter Rebecca (Ella Bleu Travolta) is also the players’ wife so Philips reaches out to the local coroner but Jayne reaches out to Doc.
Now Philips is looking for a missing woman, a potential murder suspect, dealing with an ex-wife, a man who has taken over the town and the secrets buried deep in a town he escaped from twenty years earlier.
Welcome home Philips!
Travolta as Philips seems to have lived his life on the rough edge. Going back to Galveston was meant to be a quick money proposition but instead turned into regret ever setting foot in the town. Travolta plays the part of a beat up P.I. with gruffness, a keen eye and a slow slang that fits the town he’s dealing with.
Freeman as Doc has the town locked up and isn’t happy that Philips is poking around. Offering to give him information about Barbara van Poole in exchange for leaving, Philips can’t bring himself to leave. That’s when they all start coming out of the woodwork to make his life even more difficult.
Janssen as Jayne is playing both ends against the middle. She wants her daughter protected and she wants any trace of suspicion taken off her daughter Rebecca. Fraser as Dr. Mitchell is absolutely creepy to the bone. He is playing his own game with Philips and he’s not exactly buying it. Fraser takes the role and runs with it in a direction that is surprising.
Patrick as Walsh is trying to get Philips out of town but he also continually drops hints to get out before it’s too late. Stormare as Slide gets to once again play the role he has become famous for, an untrustworthy, shade individual you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.
Ella Bleu Travolta as Rebecca has a smaller role in a big story. Her character is a woman who has been abused and now that the husband is dead she is the number one suspect. It’s interesting to see father and daughter on screen together.
Other cast include Kat Graham as Rose, Sheila Shah as Ashley, Claudia Gerini as Violet Gregory, Nick Vallelonga as the Bodyguard, Julie Lott as Mrs. Johnson, Ashley Atwood as Nurse Melissa, Nadine Lewington as Geraldine.
Travolta as Philips brings the film noir detective feel to this role. From the always-in-trouble-with-someone private investigator that needs to leave town but instead finds trouble in the next town he goes to. Freeman as Doc gets the chance to be the biggest rooster in the town’s henhouse. He makes it clear that no one is going to get in the way of what he wants – no one.
Janssen as Jayne needs to play both sides if she is going to protect her daughter. The problem is she is making a bigger mess than is already in front of Philips. Patrick has a small role as Chief Walsh but he seems to be on the side of Philips no matter what Doc might think. Ella Blue Travolta also has a small role but it is her scenes with her father John Travolta that are worth a watch.
The winner here is Brendan Fraser as Dr. Mitchell! This is a unique chance for him to really reach for it and he absolutely does and man does he ever. I think it is the final scene with Travolta that just blows me away.
Lionsgate is a global leader in motion picture production and distribution for theatres, television, home entertainment and more. Theatre franchises include THE HUNGER GAMES, and DIVERGENT along with JOHN WICK. Now, adding this film to it’s 16,000 motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.
The Bluray includes the Special Features of Commentary with Director George Gallo and Writer-Producer Richard Salvatore and Trailer Gallery.
THE POISON ROSE is several mysteries wrapped into one and you can’t blink or else you’ll miss the clues putting them all together. Currently On Demand, the film is based on the novel The Poison Rose by Richard Salvatore.
This is a tale of Texas murder and corruption but also of the deep dark secrets that keep a town filled with fear and those brave enough to take it all on – a target. Travolta takes his role head on and with a cast that include Freeman as a very smooth operator. It’s definitely a film that keeps you wondering who to trust.
In the end – a private eye, a public murder and a perfect crime!