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Who Says Scott Speedman’s a Movie Star?

April 30, 2012

Is the phrase Canadian gangster flick an oxymoron? How about movie star Scott Speedman? These questions and more are raised by Citizen Gangster, the true story of Edwin Boyd, allegedly “Toronto’s most famous criminal,” as feebly embodied by the former Felicity teen idol, who’s somehow sustained a feature-film career for the past decade.

Boyd was a World War II vet and family man who took to robbing banks after his silver-screen ambitions were stymied. While the charisma-challenged Speedman is certainly believable as a failed movie-star wannabe, the armed-and-dangerous-criminal part doesn’t come so naturally.

It’s too bad Speedman is such an energy-sucking void at the film’s center, because the rest of it ain’t half-bad. Writer-director Nathan Morlando shows visual flair in the bank-robbery sequences and makes effective use of anachronistic modern-rock tunes. And the supporting cast, including Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes) as Boyd’s long-suffering wife, Brian Cox (Manhunter) as his disappointed dad and William Mapother (Another Earth) as a dogged detective, is uniformly excellent.

Speedman has managed to succeed cinematically since graduating from Felicity in 2002 by appearing in movies that are hits in spite of him (Underworld, The Vow). He’s also frequently headed back to his homeland, costarring in Canadian films like Barney’s Version and the teen-vampire flick The Moth Diaries, which—like Citizen Gangster—is now available on VOD as well as in (very) limited theatrical release.

The big-scren jig may be up for Speedman soon, however. He’s returning to TV in an ABC pilot, The Last Resort, a submarine drama cocreated by Shawn Ryan, who also employed his ex-Felicity classmate Scott Foley on The Unit. He’ll be shored up by another Unit veteran, Robert Patrick, as well as the always-amazing Andre Braugher. It seems somehow fitting that a guy like Speedman—who’s inexplicably stayed afloat for so long—would wind up underwater.

Scott Speedman… seriously? Post a comment!

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