Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language and brief drug content.
Directed By: Gavin O’Connor
Written By: Joe Carnahan and Gavin O’Connor
Staring: Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Noah Emmerich, Jennifer Ehle, John Ortiz, Frank Grillo, and Shea Whigham
How I figure this went down: When our guys go in, the whole thing touches off. You got a lot of firing, very close quarters, and it’s that shooter. Whoever he was, he was no amateur. -Ray Tierney
This was so slow moving. Who would expect that with Edward Norton and Colin Farrell? Norton is one of the best actors is out there today, and Farrell is beyond charismatic, but somehow even with this awesome duo, this twisted crime drama never fully delivered. The problem was that there was a lot of hope for it to prevail and because it didn’t live up to it’s possibilities, it became incredibly disappointing.
It also felt overcomplicated. Not because you couldn’t follow the story, but because it felt like too many character complications and story dilemmas occurred that there was very seldom a natural flow or unveiling of each characters motivations. The entire pacing which felt choppy stopped the film from becoming exciting and suspenseful. Some of the unveiling moments and character progressions felt forced and awkward because nothing ever felt like it happened except for the reason that the script said so.
The gritty exterior look, and the lighting has been done. There was no original life to it, just a simple copy of camera work and set design that’s been done numerous times, and better. I can accept a movie that is influenced by the imagery or mood of another director or film, but the mood of the film felt lazy, as though no one wanted to be bothered with creating their own feel or soul. It was wretched.
There were surprises along the way, but sometimes they happened more because you would forget about characters with there being such a constant focus on one at a time. Halfway threw and I’d almost forgotten Edward Norton was even in the movie, and then later forgot that Colin Farrell was. The unnatural progression never allowed the story or characters to arc properly even though Norton as usual gave one hell of a performance.
Without being truly invested in the characters, the easily distracting plot, the lack of original work, and with a poorly put together final result I can’t recommend this movie to anyone. In fact, I’ll do the opposite. The actors are ones we all love, the plot seems like it’s suspenseful and smart, the trailer was even pretty convincing. But those things were all nothing more than a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What an awful blunder.