July 17, 2024

# ‘Bad Actor: A Hollywood Ponzi Scheme’: A Deep Dive into Zach Avery’s Ponzi Scheme Shrouded in Disappointing Execution


*Tribeca Premiere*

## ‘Bad Actor: A Hollywood Ponzi Scheme’ is a documentary about financial fraudster Zach Avery, premiering at Tribeca. Sadly, the film offers a dull retelling of an otherwise captivating story.

In the movie, the story of financial con-artist and small-time actor Zach Horowitz (better known as Zach Avery) is underwhelmingly unfolded. The documentary’s methods mimic those of superior films, resulting in a mixed technique that does not quite work. Much of this is due to the film’s untimely disclosure of information.

The film’s director, Joslyn Jensen, is another character in the movie, appearing early and sharing screen space with Avery and his victims. However, her extensive screen time eats away at the narrative, transforming ‘Bad Actor’ into a film about process rather than purpose.

‘Bad Actor’ illustrates Avery’s crafty manipulation and his journey from being a mediocre actor to masterminding a sophisticated Ponzi scheme by allegedly signing distribution contracts with giants like Netflix. Yet, the film also seems overly concerned with its creative approach, which often misses its artistic aims.

Jensen suggests that Avery’s self-made films serve as a reflection of his crimes and subconscious admissions. However, the documentary seldom converts this possibility into reality. ‘Bad Actor’ applies clips from renowned Hollywood films to underscore Avery’s relentless drive and tricks but rarely utilises his work to explain the situation.

There’s an apparent difference between ‘Zach Horowitz’ and ‘Zach Avery’ mentioned throughout the film. Still, no one bothers to elaborate on this difference. Key facts about Avery that could have been dramatic revealings are casually shrugged off in the film, making the unveiling of information dull and uninspiring.

Though the film manages to create some intrigue around Avery through pictures and archival footage, the overuse of interviews and dramatic recreations fail to generate much interest. The lack of genuine insight from non-expert commentators further mars the documentary’s attempt to capture the intricacies of Avery’s world.

Despite its ultimate goal of raising questions about trust and deception, ‘Bad Actor’ loses its grip on building anticipation and curiosity. The underwhelming reveal about the film’s production leaves the audience with a ‘so what?’ instead of encouraging introspection.

## FAQ

### How does ‘Bad Actor: A Hollywood Ponzi Scheme’ present Zach Avery’s story?
‘Bad Actor: A Hollywood Ponzi Scheme’ is a documentary about Zach Avery, a financial fraudster and a small-time actor. Unfortunately, the film disappoints by offering an uninteresting retelling of what could have been a fascinating tale.

### What is the critical flaw in the film?
The primary issue lies in the documentary’s mixed and untimely disclosure of information. This poor execution dilutes the otherwise captivating tale of Avery’s complex Ponzi scheme. Also, the overemphasis on process over purpose leads to a dull and uninspiring narrative.

### Why is the screen presence of the director, Joslyn Jensen, problematic?
Jensen occupies a significant amount of screen time in the documentary. Although she intends to offer an insider’s view, her extended presence detracts from the focus on Avery’s intriguing story, making the film more about process rather than the Ponzi scheme itself.