‘Poolman’ Review: Chris Pine’s Absurdist Disaster of an L.A. Noir

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In recent years, there has been no shortage of star-studded crime dramas hitting the silver screen. From gritty gangster sagas to twisted murder mysteries, audiences have become well-versed in the art of the thrilling L.A. noir. However, Chris Pine’s latest venture, “Poolman,” takes this genre to a whole new level of absurdity and disaster, leaving moviegoers scratching their heads in confusion.

“Poolman” follows the journey of Jack Dresden, a down-on-his-luck pool cleaner who stumbles upon a conspiracy involving corrupt politicians, secret societies, and a mysterious pool float. What initially appears to be a promising premise quickly devolves into a convoluted mess of illogical storytelling and pointless subplots.

One of the most glaring problems with “Poolman” is its attempt at an absurdist tone. While successful films like “Pulp Fiction” or “Inherent Vice” artfully blend humor and the bizarre with their crime narrative, “Poolman” fails to strike that delicate balance. Instead, it feels forced and out of place, coming across as a desperate attempt to inject some quirkiness into an otherwise underwhelming script.

Another major downfall of the film is its lackluster character development. Chris Pine’s Jack Dresden is written as a stereotypical everyman, albeit one with exceptional pool cleaning skills, but fails to command any emotional investment from the audience. Other supporting characters suffer the same fate, serving as mere pawns in the convoluted plot rather than becoming fully fleshed out individuals.

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The screenplay itself is riddled with holes and inconsistencies. Scenes jump from one absurd scenario to another without explanation or clear purpose. It is as if the writers were attempting to replicate the nonlinear structure of iconic films in the genre, but ended up creating a patchwork quilt of disconnected sequences that leave the viewer utterly confused.

Despite these myriad issues, “Poolman” does have one redeeming quality – the cinematography. The film’s dark, neo-noir visuals capture the essence of Los Angeles, with its neon-lit streets and moody cityscapes. Unfortunately, this alone is not enough to salvage an otherwise train wreck of a movie.

Ultimately, “Poolman” feels like a wasted opportunity. With a talented cast and an intriguing premise, this could have been a standout addition to the L.A. noir canon. Instead, it serves as a cautionary tale of how even the most accomplished actors can fall victim to poor writing and direction.

In conclusion, “Poolman” is an absurdist disaster that misses the mark on all fronts. Chris Pine’s latest foray into the crime genre fails to deliver a coherent story, engaging characters, or a sense of purpose. While fans of the actor may be tempted to drown their disappointment in his chiseled abs, even that cannot save this drowning film from sinking further into the depths of cinematic forgetfulness.

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