Russell Baze works hard and is totally in love with his girlfriend Lena. His father is dying though and his younger brother Rodney struggles with gambling and the pressure of being in the army. Russell keeps bailing him out with money to John Petty. Everything comes crashing down around Russell though when he kills a woman and her child while drink driving and is sent to prison.
This was one of those films where I wasn’t entirely sure what it was about before watching it in all honesty. The trailer doesn’t really give up away and that is probably because the film feels like it could actually be at least two separate films as it doesn’t particularly fit together very well and leaves a lot of unanswered questions when you get to the end. You will find yourself wondering what exactly the point of the whole film was?
We get to see the emotions which Russell is put through during his time in prison and adapting to life once he is back out. This is through the performance from Christian Bale to really keep us interested but it still is not enough to save this film for me. Casey Affleck also puts in a fantastic performance as Rodney as he is demented by what he has done in Iraq and uses his aggression to fight for money. It doesn’t take long for him to really get mixed up with the wrong crowd and it does not end well at all.
The film really does try too hard to be artistic and look good, but in the end if the story is not strong enough is looking good and acting cool really the best way for it to go? I spent the entire film waiting for something to happen and it just didn’t really. It had potential but then let you down in the end as had no follow through for any twist or turn. Could have easily been two separate films as we have the prison and dealing with the guilt, but then Rodney disappearing and trying to find him through a drug dealer.
It just has too many things going on to actually have a real focus and a point, which is a shame as it has a brilliant cast put together. Like we never actually knew how long Russell was in prison for, which I think was a pretty important part of the film. As we just have to try to guess how long he was actually inside for.
I wouldn’t be rushing to see this one or even recommending it to be honest as I don’t really know why you should go and see it …