Violence prevails as Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Miguel Ferrer tangle with Harvey Keitel
I liked this one a lot. I especially like how the story builds up from one incident to another, with character aspects logically contributing. This is done in true noir fashion.
Neo-noir fans won't go wrong with "Wrong Turn at Tahoe" (2009). This movie catches a mood of downbeat resignation as its tragedy plays out and two criminal sides to a series of violent confrontations cannot and will not give ground. Fittingly, no cops whatever appear in this tale.
The three criminals, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Miguel Ferrer and Harvey Keitel, all capture the screen, generating plenty of tension. Gooding is Ferrer's loyal right-hand man. Tired of the violence of his boss, he wants to retire but he hangs in there when Ferrer gets in trouble with Keitel who plays a bigger Italian boss. We side with the underdogs, Gooding and Ferrer, as they encounter Keitel.
The film tells the story of this violent private war in which neither side is intimidated. The Gooding-Ferrer twosome has quality of fierceness and skill to take on Keitel's gang quantity, even on their home turf. One is reminded of "The Outfit" (1973) in which Robert Duvall and Joe Don Baker take on Robert Ryan.
The story has more than a handful of surprises that crank up the enjoyment and add depth to the characters. In addition, we are not seeing psychopaths but complex men living their codes and playing the hands they've been dealt. Direction and editing keep the story moving and interesting at all times. It adds up to solid entertainment for fans of neo-noir criminal stories.
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