RED, WHITE & BLUE - On DemandSeptember 29, 2010
On Demand Weekly provides new movie reviews of hot movies on demand and from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: RED, WHITE BLUE, one of four films premiering On Demand and simultaneously at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX.
RED, WHITE & BLUE is a gritty, bleak drama about retribution and entitlement. Director Simon Rumley uses the United States of America as a backdrop to support the overarching theme of the story --when bad things happen to bad people, vengeance is acceptable and justified.
Under these circumstances, anybody has the right to play God and destroy anyone in his or her path. Unfortunately, Rumley’s characters are set up to payback all who have wronged them without realizing there maybe collateral damage along the way.
The beginning of the film starts off extremely slow with no explanations of the actions taken by the cast. We meet Erica, a promiscuous young woman from Austin, Texas who sets out to have sex with as many men as possible. She wanders around smoking, cursing and scowling throughout the day while her evenings are filled with casual sex.
The director creates an almost documentary fly-on-the-wall style, with an ominous score replacing most real sound, including dialog. The narrative kicks into gear when Erica meets her new neighbor Nate, a quiet yet creepy man who inexplicably vows to protect Erica.
When it seems that they are getting closer, the story abruptly shifts gears and we begin to follow another odd character named Franki. He takes care of his sick mom during the day and pursues music with his heavy metal band at night.
Character development is one of the best parts of the movie. Every main character has multiple layers which all actors portray convincingly.
Two characters stand out in RED, WHITE & BLUE -- Amanda Fuller and Noah Taylor. Fuller does an amazing job of playing the emotionally damaged Erica who is both unlikable and unglamorous. She makes it an upward battle for the audience to have any kind of sympathy for her. Taylor plays Noah, a man who is both terrifying and likeable at the same time.
RED, WHITE & BLUE is strangely structured and scripted with choppy editing making the film extremely difficult to follow. The audience is forced to fill in the blanks before getting the full story. More importantly, once you think you know what drives the characters, the plot changes again and moves down another path. For a story focusing on justification and vengeance, RED, WHITE & BLUE may not be set up to support the end justifying the means.
Previous Reviews by Lorisa Bates: