Thursday, October 30, 2008
I mentioned this movie before, because it was originally directed by Lucky McKee, but then production was shut down and he either left or was fired, and when it started back up another director took over. Both are listed as director in the credits, so it's really hard to say how much of this movie is McKee's, what he shot, how close this came to his plan for the film, etc. I can't really compare it to his body of work, or make any statements about how he's progressing.
I can, however, say that this is a top-notch slow-burn-style thriller marred slightly by a weaker final act. It's about an aging widower who one day while minding his own business is confronted by a group of teenagers. One of the kids, a total creep, kills the man's beloved dog Red, for no good reason. Later, the man tracks the kids down and tells their families what happened, hoping for an apology and for the kids to be disciplined. Instead, the rich asshole father of two of the kids brushes him off, and buries any investigations into the matter to keep his kids from getting in trouble. This leads to a back and forth that builds slowly but inevitably to violence and tragedy.
It's clear from early on that this story is going to end in violence, but the last 20 minutes or so start to feel a too heightened and over done. The build up is tense and involving, and the acting is great across, especially from Brian Cox in the lead, so it's a shame that the last chunk of the movie (while still well done) stretches too much credibility. Then, strangely, the final scene of the movie is a inappropriately upbeat, bordering on corny. I cared about this character enough that I was glad the movie had a (somewhat) happy ending, but the music starts swelling and there's even a little puppy dog, it feels more like some Lifetime movie or some shit.