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A troubled young man runs away to Mexico, where he is recruited to join a paramilitary group of teens fighting the drug cartels. Isolated in the desert, he proves himself by becoming The Captain's top soldier, but questions the group's true purpose. As the Mexican police close in, he realizes that his only way out is to escape back to America, but first he must outwit The Captain. Written by
Grindstone Entertainment Group, LLC.
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Deliberately paced journey for self, embraces the slow burn
MERCURY PLAINS is the tale of Mitch (Scott Eastwood), a young man without a cause, stuck in a dead end town off in nowhere, Texas. When a friend suggests they take an impromptu trip to Mexico to shake things up, Mitch shrugs and rolls along. But after his friend bails on him, Mitch finds himself in league with a mysterious man known as "The Captain," the leader of a paramilitary group of children and teens. The Captain offers the chance for purpose and fortune, an offer that a lost Mitch can't find reason to refuse.
THE SETTING: The desolate Mexican desert is shot beautifully. It provides the perfect backdrop for Mitch's journey for self -- it often feels like the desert goes on and on without clear landmarks to orient yourself, which for Mitch, is a lot what his life looks like at this point in time.
THE CAPTAIN: Without spoiling too much, just know that this character is a fascinating one. Though he'd have Mitch believe they're very much alike, he's more accurately a foil: The Captain is one to wax poetic, while Mitch would rather stand back, observe, and listen. Mitch displays an inner noble need to help people, even if he doesn't always know how to express it, whereas The Captain says he has the boys' best interest at heart, but...well, you'll just have to watch and see.
GENRE: It's not an out-and-out actioner, it's not TAKEN, and it's not your typical shoot 'em up western pic either -- it's not trying to be any of those. The Eastwood name and the modern western setting may lead to you to believe it's going to be a certain kind of film, but if you allow yourself to experience it at its own pace, what you'll find is the story of a lost boy -- a young man wandering the desert, adrift in life -- who's handed a gun and given a mission, which forces him to reassess his own values and what's important to him.
IN SUMMARY: The movie's methodical pace is a reflection of Mitch's own approach to life, an approach that by the end is jarred loose and shaken to its core -- the best action sequences of the film build and explode as we near the finish line. His journey raises questions of ambition and power, of self-identity, of mob mentality -- all of which he has to face down and wrestle with himself.
MERCURY PLAINS takes its time, embraces the slow burn, and bucks the trends of its genre. So if you like your western action flicks with a little more meat on the bones, you should give this one a shot.
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