Chris Pine, an actor known for his captivating performances in films like “Hell or High Water” and “Don’t Worry Darling,” takes a surprising tumble with his latest project, “Poolman.” This movie, which premiered during the fall festival season, was disappointing to say the least. Pine not only stars but also directs and co-writes this Los Angeles-based dark comedy, seemingly aiming for the charm of classics like “The Long Goodbye” or “Under the Silver Lake.”
Pine portrays Darren Barrenman, a quirky swimming pool attendant in L.A. who seems to be a lackluster take on the iconic Dude from “The Big Lebowski.” Yet, unlike the Dude, Darren’s character is largely unlikable and uninspiring. The film struggles with disjointed dialogue and unconvincing scenes, including a particularly dragging conversation between Darren and his girlfriend, Susan (Jennifer Jason Leigh).
Adding another bizarre layer, Stephen Tobolowsky appears as a crooked city councilman who is also an Orthodox rabbi, for no apparent reason. This feature fails to pull off the actor-turned-director vision, suggesting that Pine may have been too ambitious in his triple role as writer, director, and star.
DeWanda Wise gives a commendable performance as a mysterious woman, serving as a brief respite in this otherwise chaotic narrative. Despite appearances by seasoned actors like Annette Bening and Danny DeVito, “Poolman” never finds its footing. The film tries to tackle a conspiracy plot involving water diversion, but it lacks coherence and ultimately doesn’t engage the viewer.
All in all, “Poolman” is a haphazard mishmash that lacks focus and direction, proving that even skilled actors like Pine can miss the mark when venturing into the realms of writing and directing. Source