By Admin | August 25, 2010

Based on a true story, “Chasing the Green” follows the rise and fall of a family-run electronics business during the boom years of the 1990s. Adam and Ross Franklin (Jeremy London and Ryan Hurst, respectively) are two brothers with a dream… to make lots of money.

In the beginning, Adam loathes his work-a-day job as the manager of a local fast food restaurant. Dead-ended and running on fumes, he receives a pick-me-up when his schemer brother, Ross, comes calling with the key to their financial security: mobile phones. Taking a big risk, the brothers form a company and begin cold-calling prospective clients from the phone book, hoping to build their business with lots of hard work and a little luck. Eventually, this plan of attack pays off and the brothers become modestly successful. With competition building on all sides, Ross once again leads the way with a plan to diversify into the world of electronic point-of-sale terminals (try to contain your excitement), which is where things start to turn sour for the siblings.

As fast money begins to drive a wedge between the brothers, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) comes calling, which soon becomes a regular occurrence and leads to bigger problems of the legal variety. While Ross attempts to manage the fledgling empire, Adam focuses more and more of his attention on finding a wife, which only widens the divide between his increasingly estranged brother. When their competitors feel that the brothers are getting too big for their britches, they work to increase the heat from the FTC, leading to an investigator that arrives to accuse them of fraud, which eventually leads to the downfall and dissolution of not only the business but also the family.

Though it is technically competent, “Chasing the Green” never manages to fully pull the viewer into the emotional lives of the main characters. As a result,  the ups and downs they experience play out on a clinical, rather than visceral, level. Full of runaway scenes that overstay their welcome and actors who chew scenery like a bunch of koalas in a forest full of eucalyptus tress, “Chasing the Green” never really lives up the promise of its premise: two brothers who built an empire only to watch helplessly as it crumbled around them. If those aren’t the building blocks of great drama, I don’t know what are. Unfortunately, the folks who made “Chasing the Green” don’t seem to know either.

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