Chris Graham, Alexandra Hellquist, Dan Eberle, Alexandra Chelaru, Kaitlyn Johnston
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Indie Rights, Insurgent Pictures
With a digital release in August along with a limited theatrical release in Los Angeles, Dan Eberle's crime thriller Sole Proprietor was also featured in the recent Venice Film Week and this week's Action on Film ahead of a planned December DVD/Blu-ray release.
In the film, Eberle stars as Crowley, an ex-CIA agent trying to leverage his way into a new life in the U.S.
That ain't gonna' be easy.
When his handler informs him that in order to get his release he has to handle one last job, Crowley's exit is temporarily put on ice and this temporary freeze allows him to spend more than a little time with Sophie (Alexandra Hellquist), a sex worker with a unique style that fits Crowley's unique needs. When a Honduran drug courier winds up dead after a little too much partying, his accompanying bag o' cash is suddenly up for grabs and has more than one suitor. The prime suspect in the courier's death ends up being Misha (Chris Graham) who, not so coincidentally, also happens to be the hard ass pimp giving Sophie a hard time. Increasingly enchanted by Sophie, Crowley is also increasingly drawn into the drama that surrounds her. Greer (Nick Bixby) is a crooked cop whose presence also complicates matters.
If you're into action-packed, hard sizzling thrillers then you may find yourself more than a little weary by the end of this slow burning, internally complex thriller that simmers more than it boils. It's my understanding from researching some of Eberle's other films that this is frequently his approach to filmmaking, an approach that allows him to capitalize on his Statham-styled acting and buff presence. While Eberle is fine here, the film's real winner is Alexandra Hellquist, whose turn as Sophie is rough, gritty, vulnerable and endlessly watchable. Here's hoping filmmakers keep discovering this young actress.
The lensing by James Parsons is moody and atmospheric, while Matt Rocker's original music helps accentuate the film's emotional gravitas. While Eberle's story isn't necessarily exploring much in the way of new ground here, Sole Proprietor is an enjoyable and rich indie thriller and one can only hope it finds the audience it deserves once it hits home video.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic