A disgraced paleontologist struggling to raise her son is tipped off to a groundbreaking dig site in the Badlands by a recovering meth addict, but his tie to the cartel threatens to bury them both under the weight of their criminal pasts.
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"Valley of Bones" is a nail-biting adventure thriller set in the oil-rich Badlands of western North Dakota. Anna, a single mother and paleontologist, and McCoy, a meth-addicted oil worker, form an unlikely bond as they both struggle to make amends for their criminal pasts. Their hopes lay in the form of a monumental T. rex fossil, the discovery potentially worth millions. Anna needs this once-in-a-lifetime find to set both her career and her relationship with her son back on track. McCoy needs the money to pay off his debts to a local cartel boss and to save his own young daughter's life. With their motivations over the bones pulling them in opposite directions, can Anna and McCoy trust one another or will they soon turn into adversaries themselves?
Hodgepodge Film is Inadequate on More Than One Level
"Valley of Bones" is a short, eye-catching title for a film that seeks to be action-adventure but goes wide and ends short of the mark. Not a bad idea for a movie, just a premise that could not be believably sustained by the author and director. Female paleontologist with a criminal past and a young son she is raising with her father gets wind of a potential dinosaur find on a remote ranch which the audience and one other character know to be a scene of drug-running violence. Apparently the drug cartel thinks it can profit from a heap of dug up fossils, too.
So much is not how things are really done in the real world of pre-historic fieldwork. Fossils are not bones. Major finds are not worked by a couple of folks with shovels who can extract them over lunch. Most junkies are not good at taking down barflies.
It's not the sketchy characters, it's the sketchy story and the plotholes and timing problems.
BTW, Mark Margolis pays a visit from 'Better Call Saul'. Why? I'm thinking he lost a bet.
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