A noirish yarn centered on a drifter who gets involved in a drug transaction, “Loser Takes All” dissipates its early promise in a slack, talky midsection and an unbelievable finale. Seventh feature by vet Nikos Nikolaidis lacks the robust sexiness of his trashily enjoyable previous pic, “See You in Hell, My Darling” (1999), and looks to take little beyond scattered Balkan TV dates.
An unnamed, unemployed guy (Pannis Angelakas) with shaggy hair walks into a bar carrying a canary and ends up staying in the apartment of the bar’s owner, Elsa (Ifigenia Asteriadi). After some recreational sex with an alcoholic vamp (Jenny Kitseli), he’s hired by a shady friend to follow a black English pole dancer (Louise Attah) who’s involved in a drug delivery. He decides to cut himself in for a part of the action. Despite some lusty perfs and some neon-soaked lensing, pic bogs down in too many scenes of the cast sitting around talking in Elsa’s apartment, and the warehouse climax, with a TV crew filming the handover, doesn’t work. Technically, film is OK.