The Poison Rose
review by Bobby Blakey
Over the last few years John Travolta has been churning out a ton of films to the home release market. There have been some interesting ones in there that work and some not so much. His latest, The Poison Rose brings him together with a great cast including Morgan Greeman, Famke Janssen, Kat Graham, Peter Stormare, Ella Bleu Travolta, Robert Patrick and Brendan Fraser, but does it bring anything with it to make it stand out or will it be a crime not worth investigating?
The Poison Rose follows Carson Philips, a hard-drinking L.A. private eye who takes a case in his old hometown of Galveston, Texas. While searching for a missing woman, Philips must confront a crime boss, a shady doctor, a sexy club singer, his former lover and his own dark, disturbing past. With Travolta and Freeman together I was much more intrigued than I had been for one of Travolta’s films in some time. I like a lot of his work, but have just gotten a bit wary of some of these latest films. The thing with this latest is that it isn’t bad by any means, but not overly memorable either.
I think what makes this film work better than it might have otherwise is the mix of Southern flare and old school detective noir vibe. Travolta fits the character well bringing the classic PI character to life complete with genre voice over that gets you invested more than it might have otherwise. He felt all in with the role with his look and accent one of the best he has sported in some time. Sure there is nothing overly original in the part, but he just seemed to be relishing this down and out style role and it just worked for me.
The rest of the cast were good, but a lot felt just there for filler. Morgan Freeman is always great, but just not given all that much to do here. The real standout out is that of Brendan Fraser. His overweight look made him almost unrecognizable in the best way possible. He has had a bit of a resurgence lately most notably his awesome role in Doom Patrol and it was great seeing him here. He brings a sleezy vibe to the role that is needs to keep you guessing to what his involvement may or no be in the story.
In the end this film is average at best and if you like old film noir style detective stories then you will no doubt enjoy it more. It’s one that I wanted to be better and could have been with a deeper less by the numbers story, but as a whole was still decent enough to work on some level.