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For a standard issue paint-by-numbers crime thriller, "Tonic" has its charms.
Think, James Toback's 1978 neo-noir "Fingers," where Harvey Keitel plays a pianist with lots of big city trouble on his hands.
Granted "Fingers" is a better movie. You takes your chances.
Still, there's something endearing about watching Billy Blair ("Machete Kills") pour on the inner turmoil as Sebastian Poe, a small town musician in seven grand worth of debt to Officer Terry, a dirty cop played by an equally intense Jason Coviello ("Yellowstone").
Plot holes notwithstanding, Blair's full commitment to his doomed character give the picture its sense of suspenseful anguish.
Some scenes veer toward camp; the filmmakers could have pushed more in that direction to give the movie a much-needed dose of humor.
Officer Terry entertains some twisted thoughts about how to treat Poe's testicles, and he doesn't mind grabbing them to his satisfaction.
Oh but for the demented bromance between Poe and his sadistic master. They even dress the same.
Cute couple of opposites attracted to one another.
As for a life-affirming ending; who needs that in 2023?
Not Rated. 103 mins.