Review: In ‘modest Town Crime,’ Trouble can be His Business (Natch)
A genre exercise, the detective movie “modest Town Crime” relies on the usual time-tested ingredients: the boozy loner lawman, the beautiful female victim in addition to the reliably mysterious, invariably competent villains. The directors in addition to brothers Eshom Nelms in addition to Ian Nelms have obviously made a study of the genre, both in its old in addition to more recent iterations, in addition to while they’re happy to play around with the form, they pretty much leave the basics intact. By far their smartest, most inspired move can be to have cleared room for John Hawkes, one of those actors who are more often seen nibbling at the edges of a scene, leaving perfect little teeth marks in which sometimes give a movie its primary texture.
Mr. Hawkes plays Mike Kendall, a former cop. He lives alone in a Utah town in nice house that has a white picket fence in which he’s flattened, doubtless after a hard night. He’s halfheartedly looking for work, yet all he seems to want to do can be drink in addition to pal around with his brother-in-law (Anthony Anderson). So Mike drinks in addition to drinks some more, tossing back beer until he staggers, stumbles in addition to blacks out. He doesn’t seem otherwise affected by his prodigious consumption in addition to, for some reason, the filmmakers seem amused by This particular. He looks healthy enough, even when lifting weights between sips.
One morning, Mike finds a badly beaten woman (Stefania Barr) near a field in which he’s slept in after another soused night. She’s an enigma in addition to soon his possible redemption, a sacrifice to the story gods in which lets him play lawman again. that has a cheap business card in addition to an equally cheap jacket in addition to tie, he smilingly ambles This particular into the shamus role, knocking on doors in addition to sniffing out leads among all the yammer in addition to serviceable visuals. Before long he can be chasing down a familiar dark tale of very young women in addition to very bad men, in addition to trading patter with both a silky rich cat (Robert Forster) in addition to a smooth pimp (Clifton Collins Jr.), who rolls up that has a scowl, pummeling first, asking questions later.
The supporting players slide into their types just fine, though for the most part they remain little more than satellites orbiting Mike or, rather, Mr. Hawkes. Even Octavia Spencer, who plays Mike’s sister in addition to, as a performer, can overpower her scenes, never manages to wrest even the tiniest corner coming from Mr. Hawkes’s firmly relaxed grip. The Nelmses don’t make enough of their more intriguing ideas (Mike’s familial history) in addition to end up right where you expect they could, bang bang. yet Mr. Hawkes keeps you tethered, whether he’s navigating the movie’s uneven tones or peeling down one of cinema’s lonely highways in a muscle car so lovingly shot This particular deserves a co-star credit.
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