4 April 2013 | Hellmant
If you're a film nut you have to see it!
'THE BAYTOWN OUTLAWS': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)
This is one of those movies that really caught me by surprise. I had heard a little about it upon it's limited release (in theaters) but it of course wasn't playing anywhere around me and the synopsis (and lack of hype) didn't peak my curiosity in the film. It's about three vigilante redneck brothers 'for hire' who agree to help a woman get her godson back from her asshole ex. They find an assortment of crazy mercenaries after them when they rescue the boy and try to bring him back to his godmother. It stars three mostly unknown actors in the leads (Clayne Crawford, Travis Fimmel and Daniel Cudmore) and was directed and co-written (with Griffin Hood) by an actor turned director making his feature film directorial debut (Barry Battles). The film also features some bigger stars in supporting roles like Billy Bob Thornton, Eva Langoria, Andre Braugher, Zoe Bell and Michael Rapaport but it was made on a budget of just $4 million and not given much publicity or attention at all. I loved it and think it's sure to be a cult favorite for many years to come. If you're a film nut you have to see it.
The film is set in Alabama where brothers Brick (Crawford), McQueen (Fimmel) and Lincoln Oodie (Cudmore, who you might recognize as Colossus from the 'X-MEN' movies) work for the local Sheriff (Braugher) murdering criminals, vigilante style, in order to help keep the crime rate there the lowest in the state. After botching one job and not getting paid they find a woman at their door, named Celeste (Langoria), offering the boys $25,000 to rescue her godson Rob (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) from her asshole crime boss ex, Carlos (Thornton). The brothers take the job and retrieve the kid but fail to kill Carlos as Celeste instructed them to. They then find all kinds of assassins 'for hire' after them as they try to get Rob safely home to Celeste. They oddly bond with the boy at the same time.
The movie really struck me as effective in the way it introduces it's three lead characters as disgusting villains and then instead makes you care for them, more and more, throughout the film. Their relationship with the boy was really well done and all four lead actors are really good in the film. If this movie had better backing it could easily make Crawford, Fimmel and Cudmore stars but with their charisma and talent I'm sure they can find other work to help them do that. The rest of the cast is all exceptional as well and Barry Battles really makes a name for himself with this film. For a debut effort it really is an exceptional production all around and I can't wait to see what he does next. It's got a lot of heart, it's funny, tons of excessively violent action, lots of sex appeal (including a gang of hot female biker assassins) and is just a really fun time at the movies! A lot of people will label it a cliché driven Tarantino-esque B action film but it's much more well done and creative than that gives it credit for.
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