11 October 2013 | JvH48
Feel-good story full of surprising turns of events, overall a bit improbable, but still working as entertainment, also providing for ample insight in the characters we meet
I saw this film at the Ghent (Belgium) film festival 2013, where it was part of the section American Independent. The persons in this film are certainly not the cross section of society, but each of them has recognizable features somewhere hidden inside. Main characters are the tough "no bullshit" parole officer Bernice on one hand, and her old-times schoolfriend who tries to stay clean Fontayne on the other hand, They meet each other again after 20 years on different sides of the law. These two roles are set out perfectly in the opening scenes of the film, and this is precisely what characterizes the rest of the film. The people we meet after Bernice and Fontayne team up to look for Bernice's son, are portrayed very well within one or two scenes when they enter the proceedings. It gives us ample time to identify ourselves with them, though neither looks like someone we want to be in real life. All have their problems plus a shady past, which is what makes them to what they are now, at the same time precisely what makes them fit in the story as it unfolds before our eyes.
A third main character is former policeman "The Terminator" Freddy, disgraced and fired without pension, but pulling his weight in this quest, in spite of his severely diminished eye sight. Each of the three "mates" brings their own unique features and qualities, and their special knowledge how things work on either side of the law. The odd trio undertakes a quest which seems a lost cause from the outset. Nevertheless, they definitely make progress throughout the whole film, be it one step at a time, be it improbable how they succeed in dangerous situations. But still, we see how the story develops from very close by. We also see how it brings our main characters in situations they could not have survived without tons of luck, lack of fear and sheer determination. These situations combined with the persons they have to deal with, are precisely what makes this into a colorful and varied movie, in which we even see a few parts of Mexico.
All in all, I enjoyed this film throughout its 123 minutes running time. The three main characters are portrayed very well, each with their own special features and abilities. And the people they meet, albeit in relatively short encounters, look like taken from real life, allowing us peeping into their ways-of-life as a bonus. It offers no solutions for real-life problems, it is mere entertainment, no more no less. Humor works effectively as icing on the cake. I could find no information about the budget, but it does not show either way.