Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Film to Recommend

John and I watched this the first time on Netflix Instant Play because Nicolas Cage is in it. Then we watched it a second time because the story was engrossing and we recognized Willcox AZ as the town of Red Rock.
It reminded us of the Coen's "Blood Simple" where events just seem to get worse and worse for the protagonist. Nicolas plays Michael Williams who's injured his leg and is looking for work on a drilling crew in Wyoming about a thousand miles from nowhere, as the song goes. The opening scene of Nicolas getting cleaned up by the side of the road is delightfully sexy without showing anything you wouldn't let your twelve year old daughter see.
So, he doesn't get the job, doesn't blame his friend who told him to come, doesn't take a loan from him either. His gas tank's empty and he's got $5 left. At the next gas station he resists taking cash that was laying open. He really is a nice guy trying to do the right thing.
He gets to Red Rock (Willcox) dead broke and out of gas. The man behind the bar asks him, "Where have you been?" and says, "You are here for the job aren't you?" Michael's whole world is about getting a job, so he says, "Yes."
"So you're Lyle from Dallas?"
"Yes." Oh, oh. Things start to get pretty bad from here on in, because Michael thinks the man is offering him a bartender job, but it turns out he's hiring a hit on his wife.
Hope I haven't revealed too much. This description is all in the first few minutes and the complications take some strange twists and turns. Perhaps a little too plot inclusively convenient but locks you in. This is not a movie you can get up and get a snack or leave the room at all. Pause it. Stop it. Don't miss the details or you might have to watch it a second time like we did.

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