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Heavily cliched and lack of direction, the film is watchable and has good moments especially Woody Harrelson's performance, however the story is all over the place. Time moves quickly and then slows down, with Bale going in and out of jail, I feel this could have been directed better as it felt disjointed. There were too many things trying to tie into a neat package for example Bale's ex partner now being pregnant to the sherif. The bare knuckle fighting just seemed harpooned in, I couldnt believe Affleck would make that transition. Even the casting was abit obvious, I like Dafoe but how many times have we seen him play this role in an independent US film. I think with afew less ideas and more of a direction for Bale the lead character this would have been a better film.
Starring Brad Pitt, as Brad Pitt, this film although lauded by others is a safe, un-cinematic static film that doesn't create any suspense. Pretentious and dull, there is no reason why the characters are pulled together or quest they are working toward, so it just lumbers on to the inevitable of the clue giving the title.
Deakins lovers will ofcourse love this, but I dont think the work is anything special compared to others and at times was quite drab. The camera placement were always safe, mids and singles, no movement really or contruction of scenes, this played out like a documentary on the history channel.
The last days of Hollywood making big budget intelligent films for an adult audience before Jaws and Star Wars ruined it all (aswell as Michael Cimino).
Self contained, the story is tense but simple, the journey and pressure, just a vehicle to examine man and their decisions. The tone, performances and soundtrack but Tangerine Dream create an atmosphere of reality but also doom.
If this was made now it would be filled with meaningless crane and helicopter shots, the tensions are felt through its ground level photography and practical effects.
The first 30 minutes is brilliant but then tales off, the story doesn't develop after they leave town.