13 July 2020 | NormanMailer-25837
Greatest Cinematic Achievement Since Citizen Kane
Was extremely fortunate to get an advance copy of this festival-winning film, as this is one i have been (very) anxiously waiting for. Was worth the wait. I will tell you this film was life changing for me. It has been many years since I have witnessed perfection in filmmaking. This film is it. No flaws. The original screenplay by Brian A. Metcalf (The Lost Tree, Living Among Us) is riveting, not one false note or wasted line. Every single word in the screenplay has a purpose and is delivered with expert precision. The cast is A-list, full of Hollywood heavy hitters at the top of their games. Metcalf, who also directed, has a rare ability to extract brilliant performances from his actors, and this production is no different. Thomas Ian Nicholas is sublime as the film's protagonist, Ethan, a rideshare driver who discovers his younger sister has become entangled in drugs and debt. He is an antihero that you cannot help but root for. It is the role of a lifetime and he doesn't squander the opportunity. His known penchance for Method works perfectly in this role, as he simply becomes Ethan. His metamorphosis is astounding. I have no idea how he nails down these very difficult characters from film to film, but man, he just does. He will certainly get Oscar buzz here. Mickey Rourke is Mickey Rourke. Magnetic. Brutal. Wise. Sympathetic. Metcalf made a very wise decision with this casting choice--who in Hollywood is more ideal for the role of a sinister kingpin? As with Nicholas, I will be stunned if Rourke is not seriously considered for a (Supporting) Oscar this year. Want more Hollywood royalty? How about Sean Astin as Ethan's unscrupulous boss (which he just kills), Lou Diamond Phillips as Ethan's parole officer, and Penelope Ann Miller as Ethan's mother. All three of them just blow it out of the water. I cannot neglect to mention Mr. Andrew Keegan, who continues to be one of the most underappreciated actors in Hollywood. The guy slays every single role he gets, including this one.
I have watched this film 5 times, and it gets better with every viewing. I am fascinated by Metcalf's profound attention to detail and I pick up something different in each screening. This director is top 3 in the world right now, and I think this is the movie that is going to send him to the stratosphere. I already can't wait for his next project, Twilight into Darkness.
This is the rare 10 star movie, a four leaf clover in this world of crappy remakes and VOD filth. See it, please. It will change the way you view filmmaking.