In this 2001 movie, Tim Curry (Congo, Oscar, The Hunt For Red October) plays Felix, a successful criminal along with his crooked friends, Julian (Balthazar Getty), Audrey (Olivia Williams – The Sixth Sense), Holly (Stacy Edwards – Primary Colors) en Kevin (Daniel London – Patch Adams). The four friends manage to steal an extremely valuable statuette from an art broker in Buenos Aires. The thieves are very unprofessional ‘though: they damage the piece of art and lose it. The black market art dealer (Mr. Ellington, played by Forest Whitaker) who initiated the steal, tracks them down, kills Felix and forces the rest to gather one million dollars within a week for compensation. Ellington guarantees to kill anyone else who refuses to cooperate.
Here the four dogs start playing poker. Their brilliant plan includes a one million insurance policy on each of their lives. Whenever one of them would die, the rest would be saved by collecting on the policy. The rest of the movie mainly deals with the dilemmas of who should die, or will they manage to survive collectively?
Four Dogs Playing Poker is director Paul Rachman’s best movie. The black humor in this crime movie is great and casting has done a great job on Curry, the evil Whitaker, and Williams. Special appearances were made by Steve Jones (ex-Sex Pistols), John Taylor (ex-Duran Duran), and George Lazenby (former James Bond).
Although Rachman made more movies (Memories Before Joe Frank, Drive Baby Drive) before Four Dogs Playing Poker, he won the Audience Award for Best Debut on the American Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival, for what that’s worth.
The 98-min. movie can be categorized in many film genres: thriller, drama, crime, romance, action, and even black humor.
Cast overview, according to IMDB: