Tuesday, March 18, 2014

At Close Range

After the latest row with his mother, an aimless, rural Pennsylvanian teen (Sean Penn) reaches out to his wayward  father (Christopher Walken) for a role in his low rent criminal enterprise. As the law starts to bear down on the operation, the father's true colors show as the son, along with both his brother (Chris Penn) and girlfriend (Mary Stuart Masterson), is placed in severe jeopardy. Now, he must face the difficult choice of going to the authorities or remaining loyal to his psychotic and erratic father. James Foley's At Close Range is a well made true life thriller that boasts tremendous photography, is hurt by turgid plotting, and features acting that is all over the board. Sean Penn is strong in an early career gig, his brother Chris and Masterson add virtually nothing in pivotal roles, and Walken delivers one of those token performances where half the time he's strikingly powerful and the other half you're shaking your head in bewilderment.

I couldn't resist posting the video below, but don't watch unless you've seen the movie. Major spoilage: