Friday, July 23, 2010

Dark Country

Directed by Thomas Jane.
2009. Rated R, 88 minutes.
Thomas Jane
Lauren German
Chris Browning
Ron Perlman

It starts with a dame (German). At least that’s what our hero (Jane) tells us. You know, Double Indemnity, Body Heat, The Maltese Falcon and even Spiderman all started because of a dame. Those first three movies are classics, Spiderman, not so much but I like it well enough. Sorry, I got distracted.

Anyhoo, our hero met this particular dame in Vegas and married her after a night of drunken passion. Once, back in my younger days I was willing to get married after a night of drunken flirting. No, there was no actual passion. Anyone who’s ever seen me in person knows I stand about as tall as most middle-schoolers. She was an Amazonian 6’4” college volleyball player who must’ve had a fetish for short guys because she showed interest in me, believe it or not. She had a gorgeous face and curves…wait, I can’t tell that story. My wife might be reading this. No worries babe, this happened years before I laid eyes on you.

Oh, the movie. The loving couple decides to take a drive through the desert, at night. Along the way they narrowly miss hitting some guy standing in the middle of the road. The whole setup reminds me of a segment from Creepshow 2. Anyone who’s ever seen it will remember “Hey lady, thanks for the ride!” The finale of Dark Country also reminds me of an episode of The Twilight Zone tv series. Both of those have the good sense to only last about 30 minutes long. I had a problem with the mouse to my desktop. It was taking me 30 minutes to do things that should take about five. Right, you don’t care about that.

Why am I so easily distracted during this review? Honestly, DC isn’t really worthy of my attention, or yours for that matter. For most of an hour and a half these two nit-wits drive along a dark road trying to figure out what to do with the guy in the back seat who is apparently dying but is just too stubborn to complete the pass. That hour and a half seems closer to a day and a half.

Visually, it looks like it was made on a computer. I know, lots of movies are made on computers these days. However, this one looks like it was made on your computer. I’m not talking about the brand new, trillion GB, bazillion K memory thing dipped into your life savings for. I’m talking about the one you pawned off on your grandparents are donated to the Salvation Army, the one that doesn’t work with anything created during this century. You’re still not quite sure it’s even Y2K compatible and think it might explode if someone actually tries to turn it on.

I’ve already mentioned that DC makes me think of The Twilight Zone. In fact, it could be an outstanding episode if you trimmed about an hour. As a full-length feature, it’s just too thin and dull. The big “wow” climax tries to save it, but can’t quite rescue it from the ashes. By the way, this is the directorial debut of the movie’s star Thomas Jane. If I were him, I wouldn’t claim it.

MY SCORE: 3/10

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