Just Look Away

Posted on December 30, 2010

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This is a series about movies that I watch – so you don’t have to.

Give ‘Em Hell, Malone

This 2009 “film noir” stars Thomas Jane, Ving Rhames, French Stewart, Leland Orser, and Gregory Harrison. It has no Rotten Tomatoes rating, but 47% of people responding say they want to see it.

Why bother?

The marketing makes it sound like Thomas Jane plays a tough guy detective in a film noir complete with colorful bad guys and beautiful women. Since Thomas Jane starred in movies like The Thin Red Line, Deep Blue Sea, Dreamcatcher, The Punisher, and The Mist (you can’t say he starred in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, his role as half of the Vegan Police was uncredited), you might expect a good action movie.

I watched it.

The movie opens with a fight reminiscent of Shoot ‘Em Up‘s hyperbolic, ultra-violent fights (and I mean that as a good thing). The trouble is, you don’t know who anybody is, so you don’t care.  After the fight we meet the eponymous Malone, and then his mother – a retired nurse in an assisted living facility who treats his gun wounds without anesthetic in a recurring “gag.” Malone gets dragged through a gantlet of tricks, traps, and bad guys in pursuit of “the secret of love.” There’s some vague hand-waving at motivation involving Malone’s dead (or are they missing? hiding?) wife and son. Eventually, the bad guy shows up to monologue about how he’s tricked Malone the whole time.

Verdict

The problem is anachronisms. If you want to see that done well, see Walker. Malone can’t decide when it’s set. At one point they refer to a new Mustang as a ’69. Malone dresses and talks like he’s in a movie from the ’40s or ’50s, as does the femme fatale, but no one else does, or notices that they do. In short, it’s a confused mess. It never achieves an even tone. You could watch it if you were desperate. Otherwise, just look away.

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Posted in: Movies, Uncategorized