Saturday, August 23, 2014

Cold in July

Imagine you're an American and you believe in your right to bear arms. One of the reasons you want to do that is to protect yourself and your family from other gun-bearers. Now imagine an intruder breaks into your home and you get out of bed and grab your gun and apprehend  the intruder in your living room. You shoot and he dies. No matter how firm your beliefs you're going to be a bit taken aback at this point and you have to process the fact that you have killed another human being. And of course you'll be wondering about the legal consequences of what you've done.

This is the scenario in the opening scenes of Cold in July. Michael C Hall plays Richard Dane as the anxious leading man. To Richard's initial relief, there seems to be very little in the way of consequences for the murder  - the police tell him the dead man is Freddy Russell who is a  known criminal  and no loss to the community. Then Richard sees a picture of Freddy Russell, and he's pretty sure the person he killed isn't
Freddy. Now the film proper kicks off - Richard goes on a kind of personal pilgrimage to work out what happened. He comes across Freddie's father who is (at first) out to revenge his son's murder, but once the body in the cemetery is unearthed and isn't Freddy he joins Richard in the pilgrimage. They recruit a private detective to help them and they go on a kind of boys road trip to solve the mystery and take retribution.

There's lots of gore and shooting in Cold in July but this film is a great watch. It kept me gripped and if I didn't exactly empathise with Richard I could understand how he felt.The 1980's setting, particularly the big cars and the aviator glasses is done superbly It's very good- humoured for such a violent film  and there seemed to be cheerful camaraderie between the the three men who are the main characters. The acting is superb - Michael Hall can definitely compete with Jesse Eisenberg when it comes to being anxious convincingly and. Don Johnson plays the private detective with just the right amount of swagger. Cold in July isn't quite as classy or quite as much fun as In Order of Disappearance with which it shares some plot similarities but it's good entertainment nonetheless.

Anne's rating 4/5 Ian's rating 3.5/5

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