Monday, May 2, 2016

Movie Review: "Blue Ruin" (2013)

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Movie"Blue Ruin"
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Year: 2013
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

When the person who murdered his parents is released from prison, Dwight (Macon Blair) takes it upon himself to get revenge. However, his actions could start a cycle of violence that isn't so easily stopped.

Written and directed by innovative filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier, "Blue Ruin" is a low budget crime thriller about murder and revenge. It stars Macon Blair as Dwight, a man who is living out of his car and is seemingly homeless. When he hears his parent's murderer is being released from prison, he decides that he needs to enact the ultimate vengeance and kill his parent's killer. An eye for an eye, right?

Even though this is a simple story of revenge and how violence inevitably leads to more violence in an endless cycle until all is destroyed, we welcome the effort Saulnier has taken in making a basic story so captivating at times. "Blue Ruin" has had a lot of hype around it, so we were excited to watch this film. At times, it is a slow-burning thriller with great, palpable tension. There are glimpses of something better during these times of heart-pounding anxiety. The stress of such a merciless situation is also offset by some dark, humorous moments, which shakes everything up a bit further. Unfortunately, as is the case with many meandering thrillers, in an effort to maximize the "slow" aspect of tension, sometimes the pacing just comes off as, well, slow. We often get seemingly long spans of time where very little happens, which is then broken up with intense moments of action and violence, most of which takes place in a backwoods setting. These intense moments are great and we really feel the authentic emotion of them, though the shift in mood and tone might throw some viewers. The violence is also very graphic with plenty of gore to go around, so be fully prepared for lots of bloodshed.

Though "Blue Ruin" is a fantastic effort for such a low budget crime drama, it didn't quite grip us the way we had expected it might. Some viewers said this was the best movie of 2013, and we sadly disagree. There is a little lacking for us when it comes to substance, but by no means did we hate it. We are excited to see what else Jeremy Saulnier has to offer over time as we think he could really make a name for himself with his unique eye for storytelling.

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 6.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 96%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

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