Bad Country (2014)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Lynn Weiland
as Jesse Weiland
as Bud Carter
as Murphy - Captain of the Guards
as Tommy Weiland
as Captain Bannock
as Nady Grace
as Buzz McKinnnon
Critic Reviews for Bad Country
A blandly executed action-thriller whose cast names (Matt Dillon, Willem Dafoe) and mild '80s Louisiana flavor offer only modest compensations for the story's workmanlike construction and routine twists.
[A] thoroughly routine, straight-to-video-reminiscent action thriller set in Louisiana.
Action fans need more than bullets and bodies. "Bad Country" is a disappointment.
Audience Reviews for Bad Country
Review by Jesse Burleson of VIEWS ON FILM Make no bones about it, if the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had an award for Best Picture a la straight to DVD, Bad Country would surely take the prize. Matt Dillon, who seems to love appearing in movies that hardly anyone bothers to see, gives a revealing and rather appealing performance as "Country's" revenge-minded lead role. With this turn, a stint in 2004's Employee of the Month, and the part of Patton Dubois in 2006's Nothing But the Truth, Dillon is for a better word, the Redbox king. To each his own I guess (for the record, I've got no problem paying $1.20 to rent a DVD at a Redbox kiosk, that's for sure). With a working title labeled Whiskey Bay (I almost like that one better) and a promising director who died way too soon (the taskful Chris Brinker), Bad Country goes back to the early 80's with contract killer Jesse Weiland (Dillon) getting caught by an intense police detective named Bud Carter (the forever cool Willem Dafoe). Weiland gets busted on a handful of serious charges. He's looking at life in prison unless he can become an informant by giving up every name on a list of people he works with (other contract killers who inhabit a nasty, dutiful crime ring). Now Weiland is about as laid-back as anyone. He doesn't give a hoot about his well being. But he's got a wife/newborn on the outside and is willing to cooperate in order to avoid going to the perennial slammer. Bad Country harks back to stuff like 1991's Rush, 1982's 48 Hrs, and even Matt Dillon's own earlier work, the critically acclaimed Drugstore Cowboy. Call it a narc flick, a broken down character study, a stylistic mob farce, and mustache abundant (almost every character seems to channel the facial hair of actor Sam Elliott for unabashed inspiration). What you don't want to call "Country" is something that lacks for trying. This thing wants to detour you from knowing that it probably got rejected from numerous theater screenings. Could the generic title be the culprit? I can't be sure. Does it matter at this point? Not really. The original release date was months ago so it's obvious that too much time has passed. Nevertheless, we get the pleasure of seeing a formed dynamic and an unlikely partnership between the characters played by Dafoe and Dillon. It's hard to believe it, but they have never been on screen together before the release of "Country". Here they've got great chemistry as opposites who are at large, the same. Watching them trade dialogue in various scenes made me think that they've been working side by side for years. Throw in Tom Berenger (where's he been) as ruthless crime boss Lutin and you've got a cast that makes this thing rise above the ordinary. Yeah, Bad Country does at certain intervals, feel like a full-on rental with carbon copy shootouts and accents used by its actors that don't sound like anybody who lives in Louisiana (the flick's setting and on-site location). But for most of the time, there is plenty of crackling dialogue, a sense of urgency, and smooth, conventional storytelling tactics that make you think otherwise. In retrospect, "Country's" ending and its opening twenty minutes resonate with a lot of police protocol. You know, where if a felon (of any kind) is caught, they have a chance to make a deal, give up a name, and rat out someone higher up on the criminalised food chain. If you've seen anything law and order related, this is a premise that's as old as dirt. Thankfully, this little seen crime drama supplies enough energy, surmised wit, and tough guy machismo to garner my recommendation regardless of all its familiarity. Bottom line: Bad Country ain't so "bad". Of note: Bad Country's setting is in 1983. You wouldn't know it though because its sense of time and place is sort of lacking in detail. Case in point: I didn't really figure out that the film wasn't in present day mode until a handful of scenes involved characters talking on payphones. Anyway, this insight is merely an oversight and shouldn't keep you from enjoying what's on screen.
I'm sooooo not a William Dafoe fan but it was on Amazon Prime so why not give it a shot. Storyline sounded great and it definitely lived up to expectation. Dafoe and Matt Dillon (yes Matt Dillon) were AMAZING. Based on true story. Highly recommend.
The late Boondock Saints producer, Chris Brinker makes his directional debut with the thrilling and explosive true story. A stylish, riveting and exciting crime drama that explodes with shootouts and great performances all around. An intense and hard-edged action-packed thrill-ride. Its tightly knit and character driven. Its The Departed meets American Gangster. A tough, engaging and utterly powerful film. Matt Dillon and Willem Dafoe are at their best. Dillon hasnt been this good in a film for sometime. Dafoe is in his classic element of tough, compassionate and cool. Tom Berenger is terrific. A razor-sharp and frequently entertaining movie. True stories like this should be shared for their depth and sacrifice.