StartUp?—?Blue-collar crime meets the white-collar crime
The world of crime has always been a hot topic to make a movie or series on. And the reasons are obvious???when you have crime, you have thrill, you have emotions, you have suspense, you have drama. Whether it be a mafia story like Narcos or police investigation stories like Law & Order or True Detective, it is fascinating to watch the crimes (and the investigations unravelling). And as times change, so do the nature and settings of crime. The plot of StartUp revolves around a digital currency startup started by three ?crooked guys? and the quest of an FBI agent to hunt them down.
Andy Talman (Carl Weintraub) is a money launderer who has illicit money belonging to dangerous people. After being pursued by Phil Rask (Martin Freeman), an aggressive FBI agent, for his money laundering, he requests his son Nick Talman (Adam Brody) to take care of some of these funds. Next, we are introduced to Izzy Morales (Otmara Marrero), a computer wizard, who has invented GenCoin, a cryptocurrency that has the power to change the way goods and services are exchanged. As she has exhausted all options of financing GenCoin, she moves her base to the basement of her parents? house. Fate brings Nick and Izzy together and Nick joins in team GenCoin.
Enters Ronald Dacey (Edi Gathegy), a gangster belonging to a gang, whose money was laundered by Andy. He intimidates Nick and Izzy to give him a certain amount by a certain date or face dire consequences. But before the deadline arrives, his son faces a dangerous situation and the incident makes Ronald rethink his lifestyle and choices. He ends up joining Nick and Izzy and becomes a part of the team GenCoin, to help his community and improve prospects for this family. And thus we get an unlikely team of a banker, a Cuban-American hacker and a Haitian-American gang lord working together to create a digital currency that will change the way organised crime functions.
The storytelling is original and each episode has a lot of twists and bends. There are only a select few times while watching the series, that you will feel like picking up your phone to scroll through your feed. All the actors have done a fantastic job. They don?t portray the characters, they become those characters. Martin Freeman deserves a special shoutout for his role. We?ve all come to know and love Freeman as Dr John Watson in Sherlock and Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. But what Freeman pulls off in this show truly makes him class apart. There are certain scenes which are acted out by Freeman with such intensity and discipline, that for a moment you forget that he is a human, a human we?ve come to love as John and Bilbo.
But the show is not without its shortcomings and it feels like the shortcomings are a bit too heavy to be balanced out by the good points. There are three sex scenes in the first fifteen minutes of the first episode and honestly, it just feels like too much unnecessary sex. The action scenes are stereotypical. A lot of topics like the concept of cryptocurrency, the idea that crime is done by the rich and the poor alike, the status of immigrants; which could have been explored brilliantly given the premise of the show, are not given the justice and importance they deserve.
StartUp is not something that I will recommend you to add to your ?must-watch? list, but the show definitely deserves a place in your ?can watch? list if you have a thing for crime dramas.