Literature professor and gambler Jim Bennett's debt causes him to borrow money from his mother and a loan shark. Further complicating his situation, is his relationship with one of his students. Will Bennett risk his life for a second chance?
Movie star Vincent Chase, together with his boys Eric, Turtle, and Johnny, are back - and back in business with super agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold on a risky project that will serve as Vince's directorial debut.
With the aid from a New York City policeman, a top immigrant cop tries to stop drug-trafficking and corruption by immigrant Chinese Triads, but things get complicated when the Triads try to bribe the policeman.
A famous Hollywood director is feeling dissatisfied with his life, the issues in it including the disintegration of his marriage which will probably end with an expensive divorce and loss of custody of his young daughter. To get away from his life if only for a short period, he drives into the Mojave Desert. The getaway doesn't turn out the way he expects, the major turning point being when a sociopathic drifter stumbles into his camp. That encounter ends up with both men seemingly wanting to kill the other. What the director is unaware of is that the drifter, who didn't know who he was during their encounter, ends up finding out who he is and about his life, which makes him an easier target once the director returns to Los Angeles. The drifter seemingly wants to torture the director by threats of harm against the director's friends, associates and/or loved ones, including his current girlfriend, a French actress, regardless of if the threats are real or just used as that ...Written by
Greetings again from the darkness. The isolation of the desert seems the perfect place for an artist to achieve the existential awakening necessary during a time of personal doubt and crisis. The journey to find one's true self becomes much more complicated when the one-man desert getaway is interrupted by heavy boozing, self-destructive tendencies, and a serial-killer sociopath. Such is the case with writer/director William Monahan's (Oscar winner for his screenplay of The Departed) latest film.
Garrett Hedlund plays Thomas, a very successful filmmaker, who seems to take no joy from his life of luxury a mansion in the hills, cool cars, a wife and daughter, and endless adulation. Sporting the ultra-cool celebrity look of sunglasses and long hair, Thomas heads off into the desert to either clear his mind or end his life. We aren't really sure which, and neither is he. Lots of Vodka and reckless Jeep driving leave Thomas in a showdown of wits and machismo across a campfire from a sinister yet articulate drifter.
The drifter is Jack, played by Oscar Isaac, and it's no surprise when we learn he is a serial killer the sociopath part we figured out quickly, right along with Thomas. Their under-the-stars confrontation leads to a tragic accident the next day, and pits these two in a B-movie game of cat and mouse with a tone that reminds a bit of Cape Fear (1991) and U-Turn (1997).
Heading back to L.A., Thomas comes up with an incredibly stupid plan to cover his tracks. Being famous "since I was 19 years old" and having financial success with movies hasn't trained Thomas on facing off against a clever nemesis. Even his discussion with his manager (played by an unusually low-key Walton Goggins) comes across as literary-speak rather than real advice. "Worry about what seems to be" is the advice Thomas rolls with.
Monahan fills the screen with tough-guy dialogue for these two characters that are both simultaneously stupid and smart. Jack and Thomas go at each like a couple of intellects, but it's the class warfare that stands out. The 99% versus the 1%. The message seems to be that it comes down to circumstance on whether one is an artist or a psychotic felon and the line separating the two is pretty slim. It's also not a very well disguised ripping of the film industry especially of producers. Mark Wahlberg chews some scenery as a d-bag movie producer who talks loud and fast while accomplishing little. It's a pretty funny turn for Wahlberg, though unfortunately his character spends limited time on screen. Louise Bourgoin has a couple of scenes, and quickly proves more would have been welcome.
The film may not be much to look at, and doesn't really make much sense, but some of the dialogue duels and "brother" banter, manage to keep us interested throughout. "Take a left. Take a right." It doesn't much matter with these two well-read adversaries from opposite sides of the tracks.
17 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this