Sometimes you’re just looking for a mindless film to watch. A popcorn movie. You have low expectations of anything special with these films. Sometimes they’re better than expected, but then the danger is in assessing their true worth, you may tend to rate it higher than warranted objectively.This noir-ish flick with Amy Ryan and Michael Shannon is one of those.
Shannon is an alcoholic private eye (John Rosow) and Ryan is an intermediary (Miss Charley) with a law firm that has a proposition for John – a very attractive proposition, monetarily. He’s supposed to follow a guy on the train from New York to LA. He does. From there the trail leads to Mexico. The plot, a bit muddled, involves child pornographers, child rescue operations, Mexican cartels, drug running, 9-11 survivors. Right. Amidst all this other stuff, John’s wife was killed in the 9-11 disaster, the root cause of his downhill slide into alcoholism.
John was once a good guy, and this tale presents an opportunity for redemption and the possibility of turning his life around. Of moving on. It’s a story of moving on and letting go. John is faced with a choice that will impact the lives of another couple, lives changed forever by the towers collapse. His action in their case is a way to learn about redeeming actions and apply them to himself.
The films a messy bag: The noirish dialogue is sometimes bad, sometimes good. The music is mostly very good, leaning heavily on jazz. The story arc probably outreaches itself, an admirable attempt to push the envelope. Ultimately, I’d say the film is a curiosity. From the guy who directed the film Neal Cassidy, I think. That film and the various participants, are listed at IMDB. But nowhere at Rotten Tomatoes does the film appear, or does any credit for it appear for the participants. Any Ryan is in both films for instance (she plays Carolyn Cassady). Like it just doesn’t exist. This is bugging me! If anyone has any ideas on this I’d appreciate hearing from you.