DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Monday, January 21, 2008

No Country for Old Men - review

No Country for Old Men (15)

Dir. Joel and Ethan Coen

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

In the land of the free they say that ‘there are no clean getaways’, and No Country for Old Men takes that notion and splatters it large across the screen in a stunning, violent modern classic. Opening with a fantastically barren Texas vista, a captivating voice-over sucks you immediately into the world of central protagonists Vietnam vet Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) and washed up sheriff Ed Tom Bell (a never better Tommy Lee Jones).

So one day Moss stumbles upon and takes a bag containing millions of dollars, the previous owners of which are now conspicuously dead in a rather obvious drug deal gone wrong. This is the trigger to a nail-biting odyssey that sees all manner of very nasty characters on the trail of the ill-gotten bounty. The plot is a faithful adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's highly charged but desperately bleak novel, which the Coen brothers have taken and wreathed in classy noir western, hard-boiled road movie styling.

Thrillers just don’t come much tenser or with a more palpable air of danger – No Country for Old Men plays like a super charged western style sequel to my favourite Coen brother’s film up until now - their debut Blood Simple.

Here is a movie where everything is up for grabs; the gathering storm that whirls around the loot evokes a feeling of how one bad choice can lead to unprecedented life wrecking repercussions.
Credit must also go to Woody Harrelson who delivers over and above the call of duty as a slick hit man ‘cleaner’ sent in by a crime boss to try and sort out the escalating situation. But even he can’t hold a candle to the unstoppable killing machine psycho named Anton Chigurh (Javier Bordem), the scariest cattle abattoir gun wielding, remorseless bad guy you’ll ever wish to meet. Here’s a tip, if you meet a blank faced bowl cut styled lunatic like Chigurh, the chances are he’ll be the last thing you ever see – and if he asks you call ‘heads or tails’ on a coin toss, at least you’ll have a fifty percent chance of living…

No Country for Old Men is an awesome experience - a perfect storm of a talented cast, quality source material and stunning direction, mixed with jaw dropping cinematography and the best use of sound in a film ever? The first contender for film of the year already!!

NEW DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM FOR 2008 (all ratings out of maximum 10):

Endorphin Stimulation: ööööööööö (9)
- This will make you think 'dear God is there hope for any of us in the face of unfathomable evil?'

Tasty Action: öööööööö (8)
- Some wicked shoot outs, chases and stand offs

Gratuitous Babeness: öööööö (6)
- Kelly 'Diane from Trainspotting' Macdonald is still cute

Mind Blight / Boredom: ö (1)
- Long but only those with ADHD will get at all bored

Comedic Value: öööööö (6)
- Sly dark humour, but certainly not a comedy

Arbitrary final rating: öööööööööö (10)
- An awesome cinematic experience!

Liable to make you:
“Saddle up and search the prairie for $2million in drug money, or buy an abattoir cattle gun ”

DM Poster Quote:
“Somewhere in the darkness of men's souls lies redemption… just not here...”

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1 comment:

Chris said...

A terribly beautiful character study that doesn't hold up as a straight up caper or chase flick. Llewelyn just makes too many boneheaded decisions for someone as wily as he's set up to be at the start of the film.