Review by Dan Skip Allen
Recently, there have been more and more reboots, reimaginings, sequels, and rehashes of the classics. It has become an epidemic in the film industry over the last twenty or so years. Filmmakers and studios can't seem to develop new properties, and even when they do actually make something new and interesting, they are quick to pump out another very similar or a sequel. Sadly, Twist is another film in the former category.
Like the Academy Award-winning film from 1968, Oliver Oliver, Twist is based on the classic literary character Oliver Twist from Charles Dickens. In that film, Bill Sykes was played by screen legend Oliver Reed, but in Twist, the character is a woman played by world-renowned actress Lena Headey. This is another twist, pun intended, on the film. Like the '68 film, Oliver, known in this film primarily as Twist, is taken in by a ragtag group of thieves led by Fagan (Academy Award-winner Michael Caine).
Twist is a modern retelling of this story. It has all the modern touches to it as well, such as using technology to do the thieving. Caine's Fagan enlists his young pupils into stealing a prized painting from an art dealer he has a history with. The main characters Twist (Rafferty Law), The Artful Dodger (Rita Ora), Red (Sophie Simnett), and Batsey (Fran Drameh) are the crew that is the focus of the film. They embrace the newcomer. The antagonist does not though and uses him as a means to an end to hurt another member of the crew.
Twist uses a lot of common tropes from previous heist movies such as the Ocean's franchise and others to get to the crux of this story. At its heart, it's a story of acceptance and companionship between this group of misfits. They even make a point to say they have to eat together to be part of a family. That's the main focus of the dynamic between this group. They really bond together as a unit in the film. That is what makes this film work despite its obvious homage to other films.
Michael Caine added some gravitas to this film. He is the elder statesman in a cast filled with relative newcomers aside from Headey. He brings his usually fun-loving demeanor to this role. His being here is a cue for the director, Martin Owen. Owen needed someone of Caine's status in this film. Seeing his name in the credits will help get people to see this film. He's a big enough draw, especially in Great Britain, Headey's a good draw as well.
There is a little bit of a romance in the film and that will draw in the female audience. The two leads, Law and Simnett, have good chemistry with one another. I was drawn to their relationship as much as anything else in the film. They were smartly paired together. The two are relative newcomers and they didn't show their youthfulness as far as acting goes. They seemed like sealed pros. They anchored the film very well. It was a very good element in a film with a lot going on in it.
Overall this was an entertaining rehash of this classic character and story. The acting was solid from all the relative newcomers and veterans like Caine and Headey. The director and writers seemed like they had a good grasp on the material and it showed in the end product. Even though we as the public are inundated with reboots, rehashes, sequels, and reimaginings it doesn't mean they can't be good. This one proves that. It's a solid film all the way around.
Twist hits VOD on July 30.
Review by Dan Skip Allen
Bosch is in its seventh and final season on Amazon Prime. It is based on the LAPD Detective Harry Bosch from the series of novels by Michael Connelly. The series adapts Connelly's books into different seasons of the show. Taking two books at a time and making each season. Season seven adapts The Concrete Blonde, the third novel from 1994, and The Burning Room, the seventeenth novel from 2014. The series writers, Eric Overmeyer, and others have done a very nice job adapting Connelly's books into this gritty yet realistic detective drama.
Season seven consists of eight episodes instead of the usual ten. It doesn't lose any of the punch or drama though with two fewer episodes. If anything, season seven is a more tight compact season compared to the other six. It has to get into the main storyline pretty quickly. Once wherein it doesn't let us go. It builds on Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver), Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector), and all the established characters in the series, especially Lt. Grace Billets (Amy Aquino) and Police Chief Irvin Irving (Lance Reddick).
Season seven starts with a man throwing a molotov cocktail onto a crowded building where people live. A woman, her mother, and her daughter are making tamales and handing them out to their neighbors. They are caught in the fire that ensues. Including them, two others die in the fire in the building. The little girl is found dead kneeling in front of the door to the roof. This is a tragic event that was gang-related. Bosch and Edgar are tasked with finding out why this tragedy happened and who was responsible for this senseless crime that claimed the lives of these five innocent people.
The thing that is so great about Bosch is that the writers give all the supporting characters their due. As I've mentioned already Billets and Irving have great character arcs throughout season seven, but Maddie Bosch (Madison Lintz), the daughter of Harry, comes into her own as an assistant to Honey Chandler (Mimi Rogers) affectionately called "Money" because she gets settlements for a lot of her clients in her cases. Maddie learns a lot from her and this helps develop her character very well. Jerry Edgar has a good arc as well dealing with his personal life, work, and a shooting from season six. Also, a lot of the subplots come together, in the end, to make for very satisfying conclusions to many of the character arcs.
Harry has gone through a lot in six seasons of this show, but this season he takes it to the next level. He is fed up with the bureaucracy of the system and how some criminals get away with murder, literally. He is a man that can't put up with the failures of the system and he finally does something about it. He's gotten on the nerve of his superiors before, but this time he takes his anger and puts it to good use. I think everybody watching can get behind him on this one. This failure has happened too much and he's the only one who can or will do anything about it. Titus Welliver is incredible this season as Bosch!
There have been a lot of good police dramas in the past, but Bosch is one of the best police shows ever. It's on par with Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, and The Wire. Connelly understands this world perfectly and in turn, Overmeyer understands the material he's adapting. This world is one of the unflinching real sides of the LAPD. Amazon let him do what was necessary to make this show and season seven a success. With the great cast including Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch, they captured lightning in a bottle. This is the best last season to season of any show on television or streaming services.
Bosch is now streaming on Amazon Prime.
Review by Dan Skip Allen
The depiction of LGBTQ culture in films is a little bit hit and miss. There have been some great films dealing with this part of America and the world. Getting the gay and lesbian community right in movies is the key to whether or not the movie is good or bad. Films such as Brokeback Mountain, Blue is the Warmest Color, Boys Don't Cry, and Moonlight got this culture correct and it showed in the end product. I Carry You With Me is another film dealing with the gay and lesbian culture. It's also one of the best films of the year so far.
Ivan (Armando Espitia) is a young man who works in a kitchen as a handyman/dishwasher in Puebla, Mexico in 1994. He has a son he helps take care of as well. At night, he lives a secret life as a gay man. His friend Sandra (Michelle Rodríguez) is the only one who knows. While out drinking one night, he meets another gay man, Gerardo (Christian Vazquez). They strike up a relationship with one another, but Ivan has a bigger dream than just having a relationship and working in a low-level position in a kitchen in Mexico. He wants to own his own restaurant.
At the heart of this film is the love story of two people who can't live without one another. As children and as teens, they went through a lot to become who they would be as adults. Growing up in Mexico wasn't easy on them. All of the time people want to leave Mexico to come to America for a better life, even though America isn't necessarily a good place for undocumented Mexicans. It's tough at first for them to get a footing in America, but when do they genuinely find their experience in this country rewarding and fulfilling?
Heidi Ewing, the director, and Alan Page, her writing partner on the script, create a beautiful film of love yet struggle as well. The two main characters go through a lot to be together at the end of the film. The struggle in the middle is what this film stands on. The flashbacks are very solid as well. There is a twist to this film that was very interesting though. This film had a documentary feel to it that I didn't see coming. Ewing and Page made the documentary angle one of fact and not fiction. This film is based on these men's real life. That was a very good part of an almost perfect film.
The acting by both the teen actors was very good in the film. The stand-out was Armando Espitia though. He brought an emotional take on his character that helped the audience including me care about his journey and where he ended up after everything he went through. He had to do a lot of soul searching to find this character that's for sure. The other performances in the film were all solid as well. The father figure couldn't have been easy to play. He came across as very effective in the film.
One of the things that makes this film grounded in reality is the cinematography by Juan Pablo Ramirez. It has a gritty yet lively feeling to it. The scenes of Mexico are very bright and in contrast to the darker colder scenes in New York. Some great shots of snow falling while looking up a bridge were just gorgeous shots. The documentary-style was a little bit better shot than the other stuff, though that shouldn't take away from the scenes in Mexico.
I Carry You With Me has a beautiful story of these two teens who try to keep their love for one another over many years. It's two distinctly different films in a way but seamlessly put together by the director Ewing. The cinematography helps in that regard. It melds scenes together. The acting by all is very good, but the stand out is Espitia in the leading role. In the end, this film has a lot to say about the gay and lesbian culture while being a very effective story about family and the Mexican culture as well. Fighting for what you want in life can be hard, but rewarding and uplifting in the end.
I Carry You With Me hits theaters on June 25.
Review by Dan Skip Allen
The Fast and the Furious franchise is known for two things: cars and family. They have stretched the term family to its limits. Some of the villains they have faced are actual family members. Deckard and Owen Shaw have caused quite the problem for Dom and his "family" in previous installments in the franchise. Family is there throughout these films, but not once has there ever been a mention of Dom having a brother despite the family being a mainstay in the series of films.
Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are living an idyllic life on a secluded farm in an undisclosed location until they are visited by friends — or "family", if you will — of theirs who have information about Mr. Nobody's (Kurt Russell) plane crashed in a nondescript foreign country with not so friendly members of an army. This leads to a sinister plot involving Cypher (Charlize Theron) and Dom's estranged brother, Jacob (John Cena). Revenge is in their hearts. Dom and his family must save the world once again.
Along the way, the family runs into a few familiar faces that play a role in this ridiculous revenge plot by Cena, Theron, and their benefactor. The money man if you will. The Shaws' mother (Helen Mirren) gets involved with Diesel when they go to the UK. Her thieving ways are still on her mind. The duo from Tokyo Drift is back as well. Lucas Black and Bow Wow help in getting the crew some cars while in Europe. A suped-up Fiero plays a major part in the film as well. The biggest return in the film, in a head-scratching move, is Han (Sung Kang), who died at the end of Furious 7...
This franchise has been known for some amazing set pieces in its history and this film doesn't let viewers down on that account. The first action scene in that nondescript foreign country was quite breathtaking, to say the least. It involved racing through a minefield and ended with Cena's character racing off the side of a cliff only to be magnetized to the bottom of an oncoming stealthy plain and Diesel's car hooking itself to a wire, similar to a scene in Hobbs and Shaw, and pulling his car across a ravine with a bridge that was destroyed. This is the tip of the iceberg on action scenes in this film.
Sometimes the plot and stories in these films can leave a little bit to be desired. A lot of the time, they are revenge plots involved with saving the world. This film is no different than the others. It's a paint-by-numbers version of many of the previous plots of films in this franchise and action films in general. These films have gotten away from racing cars and turned into saving the world from men and women who are bent on world domination. When did this franchise become a superhero franchise? Needless to say, the story in this film is ridiculous and goes way beyond anything that is in an intelligent thought process. It's incomprehensible!
Justin Lin is no stranger to the Fast and the Furious franchise. He directed four other installments in this series, including some of the most successful films in the franchise. That being said, this film is a step backward from Fast & Furious 6, but it's not as bad as Tokyo Drift. It's somewhere in the middle of the rankings of this series of films. It has some action scenes that are comparable with the other films in the franchise, but it lacks the originality of other action films. Lin goes to the well too many times on this so-called family angle. I'm just fed up with these story beats.
The Fast Saga has worn itself thin. It has used so many tropes over and over again to the point of being ridiculously overused. The action scenes are good, but except for the opening scene, are nothing special. The dialogue in the film is so dull and infantile that a child could do better with it than Diesel, Cena, and other returning characters. This film contradicted itself from previous films in the franchise and that, to me, is the ultimate sin for Lin and company. Universal has been going to the well one too many times and it shows by how old and stale this film is. It's one of the worst in the franchise!
F9 hits theaters on June 25.
Review by Dan Skip Allen
Gangster pictures or mob movies are considered some of the best movies ever by a lot of people and critics alike. The Godfather and its sequel and Goodfellas are revered amongst movie aficionados as three of the greatest films of all time also by me personally. So any new gangster/mob movie that comes out is held to a high standard. The Birthday Cake is that rare surprise I didn't see coming from a mile away. It's that good! Jimmy Giannopoulos has a hit on his hands with this film.
Shiloh Fernandez and David Mazouz (Gotham) play older and younger Gio. He learns things the hard way as a youth, but he takes these lessons to heart as a young adult. On the 10th anniversary of his father's death, he goes to his mother Sofia's (Lorraine Bracco, The Sopranos) house. She gives him a birthday cake to bring to a party. All the guys in the family are celebrating his father. Along the way, he has some interesting encounters with friends and authority figures.
The party is a who's who of actors we may know from movies and TV shows: Val Kilmer, Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas), Vincent Pastore (The Sopranos), William Fichtner (The Dark Knight), and John Magaro (First Cow). These guys are just the tip of the iceberg of actors in this film. It's littered throughout with cameos from people like Luis Guzmán and Aldis Hodge, among others. The filmmaker really went all out with this cast.
The standout is Shiloh Fernandez, though. He has to carry the weight of the film on his back. Most of the film is him traveling from place to place with the MacGuffin, the titular birthday cake. All of his interactions and conversations are like pieces to a very large puzzle. As the film goes along he as the lead character and we as the viewer put the pieces together very slowly. Both of us start to figure out what is going on in the film. That being said there is a twist that I never saw coming and I am grateful for it. It's one of the best twists since Keyser Söze in movies and that's saying a lot.
Giannopoulos knows his way around a gangster picture. He uses all the established tropes and adds his touches to the plot. All the supporting characters play their parts perfectly as well. The modern turns in the story are fascinating as well. Russians are trying to muscle into the neighborhood, an FBI surveillance truck driving around and an added bachelorette party that throws a monkey wrench into the mix. The film has so many little touches, but it never scratches the surface of the real story until the end. It's a masterclass of independent filmmaking.
Ewan MacGregor plays a priest in the film. He is used as the narrator as well. His framing sequences are a very pivotal part of the film because we see where Geo starts out and where he ends from the priest's point of view. The narration is a key part of the film as well because good narration can give clues to the story without giving everything away. This film had great narration from MacGregor. He played his part as the priest to perfection. It wasn't a big part, but it was one of the biggest in the overall context of the film. And I loved it!
Giannopoulos is a filmmaker to watch in the future. He takes a tried and true genre and puts his own twist on it. It has one of the best twists in movie history. There is no way anybody could see this twist coming. The cast of familiar character actors is fantastic, but the standout is Fernandez in the leading role. McGregor shines as the narrator as well. This is the best gangster/mob movie since Donnie Brasco. It deals with topics we've seen before in these films, but has one of the most original ways of telling its story. It's an amazing movie that is a pleasant surprise.
The Birthday Cake hits theaters and VOD on June 18.
Review by Dan Skip Allen
The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard is the sequel to the 2017 film, The Hitman's Bodyguard. Both films star Ryan Reynolds as a Triple A-rated protection agent and Samuel L. Jackson as a hitman responsible for the death of the biggest client in Bryce's career. Patrick Hughes was the director of both films.
Not that the first film in the series was anything great, but the second film isn't nearly as good as the first one. A minor character in the first film, Selma Hayek plays the titular wife of Jackson's character. She enlists the help of Reynolds's character to help rescue her husband from a Greek madman (Antonio Banderas) bent on the destruction of Europe. The toxic relationship between Reynolds's and Jackson's characters may get in the way of saving the day.
Both films have an R rating and for that, they have quite a few bloody violent death scenes and cursing. The second film doubles down on the cursing, though. Whereas the first film had the occasional curse word, the second film has characters cursing it seems every third word. I know Samuel L. Jackson is known for saying a specific curse word in films in his career, but they go way overboard with the cursing in this film. It was a complete turn-off for me. I've used the occasional curse word in my day, but to write a script where cursing is used so prevalently is just ridiculous. Even though all the cursing got a lot of laughs in my screening and probably by many others watching the film in the future, it ruins the movie for me.
The film also has an equally ridiculous story. To use a real-life event such as the financial failure and instability of a country and its downfall as a plot device for revenge by a bad guy is unacceptable. Using the strife of people such as the Greek people for such a childish revenge plot goes beyond intelligence as far as I'm concerned. This plot and story are terrible. There had to be a better idea they could have gone with than this stupid idea.
The first film gave viewers two actors that had good on-screen charisma when they were in other films. They worked well together in The Hitman's Bodyguard. Their banter was fun. The second film wastes all that with useless ad-libbing. Instead of sticking to a straightforward storyline, they go way out of the way to just try to get laughs by ad-libbing and cursing too much. This cast was wasted in this film. A prime example is Morgan Freeman. He plays in another ridiculous turn of events, Reynolds's character's father. Why on earth did they think this was good casting I have no idea, but it wasn't. Freeman was awful in the film as well!
This film was a waste of time from the get-go. Just because the first film had some mild success doesn't mean they had to make a sequel. Some films just don't need sequels to them. I know it's a business and Lionsgate was probably trying to capitalize on the money that the first one made. That being said, this film was a waste of my time. It was way too vulgar. The plot straight out of a James Bond film was unnecessary and ridiculous. The chemistry and action in the first film were wasted in this film by too much ad-libbing and cursing. A good pairing, as well as the rest of the cast, were completely wasted in this garbage sequel. It just says you don't always have to make sequels to successful movies. Hollywood is just running out of good ideas, and The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard proves that fact.
The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard hits theaters on June 16.
Review by Dan Skip Allen
Renny Harlin doesn't have the best reputation as a director. Other than his work in the '90s on such films as Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger, and The Long Kiss Goodnight, his films haven't done well at the box office or been received well by critics. Despite that, he keeps directing films and they usually look pretty good despite the content within them. The Misfits is another example of this.
The Misfits are a group of modern-day Robin Hoods. They steal from wealthy businessmen and operations that are using their money and wealth the wrong way. Their group consists of Nick Cannon, a fast-talking hustler and master of disguise, Mike Angelo, an explosives expert, Jamie Chung, a skilled martial artist, and Rami Jaber, the enigmatic leader of the group.
Pierce Brosnan plays a master thief who the group recruits to help them rob a rich businessman (Tim Roth) who owns prisons. One of the prisons has a vault with millions of dollars worth of gold in it. With help of his estranged daughter (Hermione Corfield), the group hopes to do the impossible and break into a very secluded prison with a lot of guards in the middle of a desert.
The Misfits is a glossy fancy-looking heist film with some good performances from everybody involved. It has some problems though. Films such as these try to fool the audience with all the fancy clothes, cars, and locations. The city of Abu Dhabi in the Middle East is the setting for a part of the film. It's a beautiful place and everything surrounding it is gorgeous. This film disguises its overall story and plot with all of this glitz and glamour.
Heist films can be very entertaining at times. Some of them can be funny and some can also be pretty action-packed. This one lacks that punch. Harlin and the writers Robert Henry and Kurt Wimmer lack creativity in the film and story to give it that extra oomph that other heist films have had in the past. The characters aren't that captivating either. Combined with the basic plot beats that have been done before, The Misfits isn't that good.
If the story beats and characters had more to them, this could have been a better film. The action and overall heist are pretty basic. The team isn't that interesting. The Ocean's films had much more interesting characters, funny one-liners, and subplots that had me invested in the films. Harmon gave it a good go, but in the end, it didn't come together.
The Misfits hits theaters on June 11 and VOD on June 15.
Review by Dan Skip Allen
Awake is the latest physiological horror movie from Netflix. They have been doing a great job releasing these types of under-the-radar films over the past decade or so. It's been part of their modus operandi. They tend to get newer filmmakers and pair them with established stars, which results in mixed success. In Awake, the pairing of Gina Rodriguez and Mark Raso works.
Jill (Gina Rodriguez) is a former soldier, now a security guard. She's the mother of two children, Matilda (Ariana Goldblatt, In the Heights) and Noah. While she's picking them up a crazy electro pulse takes out all the electricity in the country. It causes everybody to have long-term insomnia. Her daughter may be the cure though to save the population of the country. Getting her to those who can help them is the key, though.
Rodriguez has been getting some of these types of roles recently where she is in a position of strife. She's been getting this action stuff and she's good at it. Rodriguez is starting to feel at home in these roles. It's a far cry from Jane the Virgin. Besides her, there are some other notable actors in prominent roles. Finn Jones plays a man who might have the answers to why Matilda could be the cure to this crazy scenario. Barry Pepper plays a preacher who tries to get people to pray for an answer. Shamier Anderson plays a prisoner who escapes and helps Rodriguez and her family to the Hub, the location where the cure can be found.
Awake has an interesting premise and also quite a few action sequences in it. Rodriguez and her children go through a massive ordeal to get to the Hub. People are trying to kill them left and right. Insomnia keeps people from sleeping which in turn causes them to lose their judgment and do crazy things. They just can't think properly without a good amount of sleep. This is the tie that binds the plot together in the end.
The film has a pretty good look to it as well. The cinematography by Alan Poon is pretty good. I've said before that films need a lived-in look to capture the reality of the world the characters are living in. Awake has that in spades. It makes the film look real where this scenario could actually happen in real life. With technology the way it is, who knows, maybe some disgruntled country could figure out how to disable the country using an electric pulse. It's very plausible.
Similar to Bird Box in a way, Awake has the main characters go on a mission to save humanity from itself. The film is set in a realistic world where this could happen and the reactions from the people in the film are on par with how you'd think people would act in a situation like this. If people go get all the toilet paper and bottled water when an oil pipeline shuts down, who knows what they're capable of in a scenario like this one.
Awake hits Netflix on June 9.
Review by Dan Skip Allen
It's always interesting to see films about discovering new lands throughout history. History is full of these types of stories. The people and places they discover are of some historical record. It makes sense that people would make films about men and women and the different places they discover. In the case of Edge of the World, it focuses on the discovery and colonization of Borneo, an island in the South Pacific completely covered by jungle.
James Brooke (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a soldier for the British Empire under the reign of Queen Victoria. He's also an adventurer. He goes around exploring far-off lands in the hope of colonizing them and bringing what indigenous life resides to the place he discovers under the rule of Queen Victoria. At this point in history, there weren't a whole lot of places that had not been discovered and colonized by the British Empire.
Borneo had two warring factions that lived there already when Brooke landed on its shores. Brooke would go on to defy the British Empire and rule over this jungle. He would befriend the Rajah and fight against piracy, headhunting, and slavery. He even married one of the indigenous women. He struggled to make a home for himself but eventually became ruler over these third-world people in the 1840s. It wasn't an easy task but the natives eventually embraced him as their leader.
Brooke is a famous literary character in his own right. He is inspired by the stories of Lord Jim starring Peter O'Toole and The Man Who Would Be King starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine. Edge of the World, though, is a more gritty take on his story in the vein of Apocalypse Now. The military officer becomes the ruler of a native people in a jungle.
Edge of the World is a fine retelling of Brooke's story it's just not great. It drags a lot. It just feels like this story takes too long to get to its conclusion. Dominic Monaghan is fine as Crookshanks. The rest of the supporting cast is pretty forgettable. This is Rhys Meyers's film as Brooke. He just seems to be a one-note character. He has one scene towards the end of the film where gets to flex his acting muscles. Other than that, he wasn't that entertaining in the film.
The plot was pretty basic as well. It never really gripped me on the plight of Brooke, his fellow travelers, or his new role as ruler of these people. The film had a little bit of light when it focused on the relationship between Brooke and his new wife. Other than that the film was pretty bland. Stories like these need to be big and loud and adventurous. This film and story is none of that.
Edge of the World tried to make Jonathan Rhys Meyers a leading man and it fails in that regard. He's a one-note character that isn't that interesting. The relationship between him and his wife had potential, though. The film was just too long and too boring. There wasn't much adventure for a man who was an adventurer. This film failed on multiple levels and it's sad because it had the bones of something that could have been good.
Edge of the World is now available on VOD.
Review by Dan Skip Allen
Death in Texas is a play-by-play on the prison break subgenre of action movies. Most of the time these films star someone we all have come accustomed to seeing in these kinds of roles or a big star trying to do something different in their careers. Death in Texas is neither of those even though it has a few supporting actors we've come to know in the past.
Ronnie Gene Blevins plays a man recently released from prison on parole. The first thing he does is go home to see his mother. As one character says in the film, "He's a momma's boy." While he's out, he finds out his mother is sick and needs a liver transplant. He doesn't know what to do to help her until one night he's drinking his sorrows away and an old acquaintance walks into a bar and he has a bag of drug-related money with him. This leads our lead character down a road of violence and death as the title of the film suggests.
This film is a paint-by-numbers redemption storyline. Throw in the liver storyline and we've seen this story before. It also has a couple of subplots of some romances and a twist that I definitely did not see coming. Regardless, there isn't a lot of originality in action films these days. This script and film are pretty basic.
Besides the lead actor, this film has some interesting supporting actors in the film. Stephen Lang plays an ex-doctor who is now a nurse. He's involved in a couple of the main plot points of the film. Lara Flynn Boyle plays the main character's mother who needs a liver transplant. She has some emotional attachment to more than just her son. Oscar-nominated actor Bruce Dern (Nebraska) plays a rancher who's involved with the local drug cartel in El Paso, Texas. He's played these types of supporting roles in his career before.
This film has a fascinating story, it has some interesting supporting actor performances, but the lead actor isn't that fascinating or interesting at all. His story is one we've seen quite often before. Ronnie Gene Blevins just doesn't do it for me in this role! Why couldn't director Scott Windhauser find somebody better for this leading role? He's worked with Nicolas Cage, Don Johnson, Tom Berenger in the past. Even Toby Kebbell would have been a better choice than this guy. He just wasn't very good in this role, which brought the film down.
You've probably seen this film dozens of times before. The supporting performances by the known actors in the cast are serviceable. The subplots and one twist in the story were fascinating. This film could have kept me engaged more thoroughly if it weren't for the lead actor and a couple of the supporting actors. They were so bad it was cringeworthy watching them in this film.
Death in Texas hits theaters and VOD on June 4.