Following an extended tour of duty in the Middle East, a veteran returns home only to face new enemy. Battling insomnia & undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder, he finds a job as a projectionist working the night shift at a decrepit theater. As he struggles to adapt to civilian life, he quickly finds himself tangled in an inescapable web of seduction, addiction, & violence. His disdain for those around him reaches a boiling point and he embarks on a new war against society, vowing to take drastic action against it in an attempt to defend the country he loves.Written by
A Powerful, Beautiful Neo Noir Tale That's Sharp, Nuanced and a Must See!
I was inspired to write this review not just because this movie was particularly fantastic but because of the very powerful and emotional review by my brother veteran from Vietnam. I'm also a Veteran, but I was in Iraq and Afghanistan. I don't know what my brother went through in Vietnam, but I know what I experienced in the desert. And it brought me to some dark places. I was lucky, I don't suffer from severe PTSD and I made it home with all of my body intact. But many of my friends did not. Some are great, but some have been trapped in a very dark place.
I expected this movie to trivialize that experience, or to use it as a tool laden with clichés. I expected another movie about a crazy vet who thinks he's the love child of Rambo and Charles Bronson. But it's not that at all. Instead, it's a brilliantly told and beautifully shot neo-noir film that shows a nuanced slide further into darkness and madness. This isn't a story about a crazy vet gone mad, it's a story about a sick man, who happens to be a vet and loses himself to the darkness.
Was it hard for me to watch it at times? Absolutely. Especially when I could see slivers of people I know, friends, brothers and sisters who served with me who have struggled with the darkness. But unlike my brother from Vietnam, I did like it. No, I loved it. This film could have been trite and awful and I could see someone who only watched the trailer or read the description as assuming that's what it is. But the film itself is awesome. And while it may be hard at times for some, that's true about a lot of great stories, especially in film form.
But the acting by Russ Russo as Jacob is superb. Nuanced, authentic, raw and engaging. Natasha Alam was also fantastic and took what could have been a cheap, trashy role and played it with remarkable reality. I especially loved Doug E. Doug as Marlon. His character provides a levity and human touch that's both necessary and superbly done. Why isn't he in more roles like this?
Visually, the film is stunning. Not a single scene misses and the visual component alone makes the film worth watching. I can't believe that this is Ryan Kennedy's first film as a Director. And I actually found the pacing to be almost perfect. The only exception might be a few scenes with the Detective. But even then, it's subtle and still works.
All in all, this movie is superb. I can't recommend it enough and I'm so happy I stumbled upon it on Amazon. I plan on watching it again with my wife tonight. And I'm looking forward to seeing what this director does next! Do yourself a favor and watch this film. I can't believe that it's current score is as low as it is.
11 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this