I’d question any movie that brags about a 5 star review from the Sunday Sport, a newspaper that leads with such headlines as “Why did this man push 114 Wotsits up his bottom?” and “Missing Plane Found On The Moon“, and yet here I am about to type that this thriller is actually good. Not 5 star good, but it’s good.
Gerrard Hedlund stars as a sort of depressed artist/film-maker (Thomas), who decides to up and leave for the day and smash about in the Mojave desert (pronounced Mo-hav-ay, not mo-jav) in his off-road vehicle, with no real intention of coming back to his life of demanding obnoxiousness. In doing so, he encounters Oscar Isaac (Jack), an eerie travelling type who speaks like Hulk Hogan (“Game on, Brother”), and who makes it his mission to finish what Thomas started himself.
It never really reaches its true potential, not within the confines of the thriller genre nor within the attempt to take down those who are oblivious to having it all the “industry”, but the slow moving game of cat and mouse is entertaining to watch. It looks bleak, the emptiness of the desert captured perfectly creating a depressing feeling, transferred to the empty vacuous houses of LA; a true sense of loneliness. However, with both characters flawed shells of human beings, we are left with nothing to care about, and the game loses its appeal at times. It remains largely predictable, but it does not set out to change the world.
Those looking for a film with a bit more about it will be left empty handed, minimal substance, muddled message, but it is entertaining despite its flaws. Is that enough of a reason to watch a film? Probably, but I can’t commit to recommending it, and yet for those few moments of genuine intensity and the incredibly psychotic Oscar Isaac, it makes me lean towards an actual recommendation, I just don’t want to be responsible if you hate it, “Brother”.