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.