Friday, February 26, 2016
Amongst all of the super hero franchise flicks, crude comedies, and low budget horror films of which we have been inundated over the last two months, finally arises one of a genre in short supply: The gritty, dirty cop crime drama. This also just so happens to be one of my favorite genres, and yet I surprisingly find it more on the small screen than at the multiplex. Though some Hollywood filmmakers still make a go of it. David Ayer (Harsh Times, Street Kings, End of Watch, Sabotage) is a master of the genre. Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) is as well. And now, John Hillcoat tries his hand. And having made The Proposition and The Road, a few of my favorite dark films over the past decade, I had a good feeling about this one. And, with its stellar ensemble cast including Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet, Anthony Mackie, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, all the better.. Individually, any of them can carry a drama. And together? Well let's just say I was psyched.
I won't say much about the plot. Or anything. Partially because that's not how I roll here, but also because it's pretty convoluted. Probably too convoluted, actually. And that's a bit of a problem. But not problem enough to ruin or even lessen my experience. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the film from start to finish, for the cast, the performances, the action, and the suspense, even if I was left with a lot of questions about plot points that may or may not have been intentionally vague. Maybe that's just reason to see it again down the road.
Who is this movie for? This is not a movie for kids. It's not a movie to see if you want a laugh. Nor is it a good date movie. It's a gritty, violent, dirty cop, crime drama for adults. That might make it niche, but as someone in that niche, I'm happy with it.