Monday, December 9, 2013
Movie review: Out of the Furnace is a snooze-worthy film masked as a thriller
You're better off waiting to see Christian Bale in American Hustle.
Russell Baze (Christian Bale) lives a rough life. He works a blue-collar job at a local steel mill by day and cares for his terminally ill father and troubled brother by night. The Baze brothers have seen their fair share of trouble, but things get really tough when Rodney (Casey Affleck) returns from another tour in Iraq. He is having trouble letting go with what happened and turns to gambling and illegal fighting to handle it. When Rodney mysteriously disappears, Russell tries to deal with it on his own, putting his own life at risk all in order to seek justice for his brother.
The movie stars Woody Harrelson, Dendrie Taylor, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard, Bingo O’Malley, Tom Bower, Willem Dafoe, Bobby Wolfe, Charles David Richards and Forest Whitaker.
Out of the Furnace is dark, dingy and depressing -- and not in a good way. The idea of a gritty revenge film with commentary of the lower class is great, but it doesn’t deliver and ends up being dull with a story that rambles. I think director Scott Cooper was aiming for thought-provoking thriller. The truth is that he ends up with a dull, slow, monotoned film that will bore you rather than provoke you to thought. It definitely won't thrill you.
The biggest problem is the set up. The movie takes more than half the film to get set up and get to the point. It isn’t 'til the last 20 minutes or so that you get to the “thriller” part of the film, and when it’s over you feel … unthrilled. Honestly, I expected more from the movie.
RATING5/10 stars – Yawn! Not worth the trip I made out through the Dallas ice storm to see this one!
Bale is a decent actor, and this being his first film since The Dark Knight Rises, I expect greatness -- especially considering he turned down a sizable deal to reprise his role as Batman. Maybe his appearance in the upcoming American Hustle will make up for this lackluster role. It isn’t that his performance was bad, it is more that his role was subdued and the film subdued so the whole situation lulled me into a popcorn and soda coma. Woody Harrleson woke me up now and again as a down and dirty hick brought to life. His performance, however, is hardly enough to save this film from obscurity among the many other great films out in 2013. Wait for DVD for this one and go see Prisoners if you want a thrilling drama. Or, just wait for American Hustle to come out; it promises to be one of the better films of the year.
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