A modern fable set against the rugged backdrop of a Pacific Northwest logging community, this is the story of Lillian, a young woman newly returned to her hometown who becomes the subject of harassment by a man named Blackway, an ex-cop turned violent crimelord who operates with impunity in this small community on the edge of the wilderness. Forsaken by the local townspeople, advised by the Sheriff to leave town, Lillian decides instead to take a stand against her sociopathic stalker, and enlists the help of an ex-logger Lester and his laconic young sidekick Nate-the only two men in town brave enough, or crazy enough, to go with her, and go up against Blackway. Written by
'Blackway' is about as straight forward of a story line as you'll ever get, and yet it's all the more enjoyable for that reason alone. Frequently films spend so much time trying to be complex that they forget to keep the realism factor and allow the characters to carry the movie. Some reasonably large actors (not so much currently, but in their time) signed on to this. Ray Liotta has always been a personal favourite of mine. He's very much suited to the character. He can play 'unlikable' very well. Julia Stiles is a little clunky in her line delivery at time, but has just enough acting chops in other areas to get away with it. The stand-out for me though was Anythony Hopkins. What a delight it is to watch this man act. He may not have the energy in his roles he once had, but his presence more than makes up for it. His line delivery is elegant and yet menacing in its own way at the same time. To think at 78 he is still working as frequently as he is is astonishing.
Quiet little independent films like this often go one of two ways. Either they're incredibly dull, simply trying to be more than they are capable of. Or in the case of 'Blackway' they just perfectly find their niche and are a delight to watch. It's far from perfect and there's nothing game-changing here, but if you're just looking for an enjoyable 90 minute experience you won't be disappointed.
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