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Time once again to break out the industrial strength moonshine and despair at the movies that have washed up on our isolated shores - or will we have something surprisingly brilliant to enthuse over? Listen in and find out our takes on Abduction, Red State, The Debt and Drive.
Disastrous box office results and disastrous critical reception seems an overly harsh fate for Abduction, essentially The Bourne Identity for tweenagers that comes saddled with the preconceptions and baggage that can only come from having a lead only know for his role in the Twilight franchise. While Laughner might not quite have the chops or maturity to carry his role, he's perfectly acceptable when the pace picks up with some well paced chase based action. The plot has holes you could drive a bus through, but no more so than the bulk of its genre stablemates. The judgements bestowed upon this are a little harsh, however not so far from the mark that we can recommend anyone go out of their way to see this.
Kevin Smith is justifiably proud of the production of his latest film Red State, the may perhaps be a blueprint for the future of Indy cinema. The movie itself is a real disappointment, following a group of cookie-cutter teen lads getting wound up caught between a murderous gay bashing Church group and the Feds tasked with bringing them down. There's a few strong performances, but the central plot is underwhelming and with practically everyone involved being offputtingly cynical, criminal and immoral there's very little here you'd want to get involved with, making it very difficult to care about anything happening in it.
The Debt tells of a group of Israeli Nazi hunters, both during a 60's operation to capture a particularly despised target in East Berlin and the events of the 90's that threatens to have life changing consequences for the group. The storyline is solid, but it's really the top notch performances from all involved, including Sam Worthington, to everyone's surprise, that elevates this from a reasonable drama to a compelling one.
Last up is Drive, of which we're not sure we can adequately explain why it's so captivating, but, well, it just is, okay? Ryan Gosling plays the understated, un-named lead, stunt driver by day, getaway driver by night with ruthless efficiency as he's caught up in events that soon spiral murderously out of control. It's a puzzling mixture of cliche and odd stylistic choices that has no right to work at all, let alone work as well as it does. If I were to pigeonhole this, it'd be as a top drawer pseudo-noirish action drama thingy.
That's yer lot. We shall return soon enough, where we will swear at Lars Von Trier for about an hour solid.