‘Crypto’ Doesn’t Really Explain Bitcoin, Either

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Kurt Russell stars in "Crypto." (Lionsgate)

Cryptocurrency still needs a genius communicator who can explain what it is and how it works to the rest of us. “Crypto” (out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital) is a new thriller that hops aboard the ecash train and tries to use the mystery to create a ‘70s-style paranoid thriller in the vein of “Three Days of the Condor” or “The Parallax View.”

The screenplay attracted an impressive cast. Kurt Russell (icon), Luke Hemsworth (HBO’s “Westworld”), Alexis Bledel (“Gilmore Girls”), Jill Hennessy (“Law & Order”) and Vincent Kartheiser (“Mad Men”) join lead actor Beau Knapp (“The Nice Guys”). The producers believed enough in the project to film in upstate New York and it’s always a treat to see a straight-to-video thriller that’s not recycling the same old Georgia locations.

Knapp plays a Wall Street compliance officer who gets exiled to his hometown after exposing a client’s financial shenanigans and costing his employer a massive deal. While in professional purgatory, he’s supposed to conduct a routine audit of the local bank while his bosses cool down back in the city.

Of course, Knapp has unfinished business with his dad (Russell) and his brother (Hemsworth) that has kept him away from home for a decade. His childhood friend (Jeremie Harris) took over his dad’s liquor store and has converted the backroom into a massive cryptocurrency mining operation, because all WIRED readers know that data mining is going to save the small-town American economy.

Turns out that the Russian mob is laundering money through the bank and a local art gallery when smart boy uncovers the truth. There’s what’s supposed to be a lot of psychological chess between the good guys and bad guys plus a big explosion.

What you don’t get is the kind of gunplay or car chases that usually offer the entertainment in these kind of movies. Are you afraid that cryptocurrency will someday collapse our money system and create worldwide anarchy? Are Russian mobsters the undocumented immigrants you fear most? “Crypto” is here cater to your fears.

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