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Silk Road Review: Dark Web Drug Trafficking Entrepreneur

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Director Tiller Russells Silk Road, a dramatization of the rise and fall of drug lord on dark canvas, Ross Ulbricht, opens with one hell of a caveat: this story is true. Except what we have invented or changed. OKAY!

Star Nick Robinson, playing Ulbricht, opens in a voiceover narration taken directly from the Convicted Criminals Diary, as quoted in the 2014 Rolling Stone item by David Kushner, whose film is adapted. He plans to create an online marketplace at Silk Road, a drug Amazon where people can buy and sell things anonymously, free from state barriers. Oh man. Yes, it will be two hours to listen to the philosophizing of a libertarian edgelord whose actions on these beliefs brought him into the slammer for life. This is all true.

What has been improved is the role of a DEA agent who was sentenced to six years in prison for stealing bitcoin during the investigation. The Rolling Stone article makes no mention of this agent, but for dramatic purposes Russell, who adapted the script, created the character of the disgraced, down hill agent, Rick Bowden (Jason Clarke), demoted. in cybercrime after an unfortunate incident. in Puerto Rico and a stay in rehab. It gives Ulbricht’s cat-and-mouse investigation a little more tension, but it just seems like an excuse to pit old-school, off-the-book tactics against the young, tech-savvy kidding. of Bowdens’ methods.

So, the old codger hunts down the tech brother in a film littered with tired tropes, like long-suffering wives and girlfriends (Katie Aselton and Alexandra Shipp), and unintentionally laughable dialogue. But strangest of all is the undercurrent of nagging reverence towards Ulbricht, almost a co-signature of his beliefs about ultimate freedom, even though his black market experience ended in violence and prison. It is indeed a juicy true story filled with drugs and cyber-assassinations, but one has to wonder why he is receiving the biopic treatment.

Silk Road

Note: R, for ubiquitous language and drug content

Execution time: 1 hour 56 minutes

Playing: Begins February 19, Vineland Drive-in, City of Industry; Tiki Drive-in Mission, Montclair; and in general version when the cinemas are open; also on VOD



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