One crime drama that should be not missed by fans of this movie genre is director David A. Armstrong's film called Pawn. Without giving away too much of the clever plot, Pawn takes place in an all night diner which is a front for mobster Yuri. A cop played by Forest Whitaker walks into a robbery and hostage crisis in progress in the diner. Michael Chiklis (The Shield) gives a chilling and phenomenal performance as the head of the robbery crew Derrick.
Pawn consists of several twists and turns throughout. Despite a lower budget than most big blockbuster films, Pawn succeeds in engaging the audience early in the film and keeps you on the edge of your seat as you anticipate what will happen next. Jay Anthony White is the screenwriter and he did great at telling a tense, gripping story. While some clues are easily spotted throughout the film, there are enough stories taking place and surprises to keep the audience entertained until the last frame of the film.
Despite a small budget, Pawn features a great cast. Ray Liotta (Goodfellas), Sean Faris, Nikki Reed, Common, Jessica Szohr, Stephen Lang, Ronald Guttman and, Martin Csokas all shine in their roles in the film. The story delivers from beginning to end and does not drag even though almost all of the action takes place at one location. Pawn is reminiscent of similar hostage dramas such as Dog Day Afternoon and Phone Booth. It was interesting to see the major stars of the film Forest Whitaker and Ray Liotta do not have as much screen time as the lesser known younger cast members. Michael Chiklis truly delivers an amazing performance. He is believable as the no nonsense robber and pulls the viewer in, in an engaging way. Watching the film, you feel as if you are a voyeur in the diner seeing all the action going on around you.
Perhaps the characters could have been developed more and the ending could have been better but while the movie may have some faults here and there, overall it is a good solid crime thriller that will keep you entertained and interested. Pawn is worth checking out not only for the good script but the skillful acting of many of the cast.