Monday, January 16, 2017


Director - David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Eastbound and Down)
Starring - Jamie Bell (Fantastic Four, King Kong), Dermot Mulroney (Dirty Grandpa, The Grey), and Josh Lucas (American Psycho, Thinner)
Release Date - 2004
Genre - Thriller/Drama
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
       A week or so ago I was going through my collection and found the Olive Films and Slasher//Video release of Trashology.  Among that same stack was another Olive Films flick, Undertow.  I have no idea why I put those movies to the side like I did but I completely forgot about them and now the reviews for both are very behind.  Which is pathetic for me to completely forget about the films and because Undertow is one I have wanted to review for sometime now.  I grew up in southern West Virginia which is a strange place.  It is the only state to come out of the Civil War and fought on the side of the Union but as time moved on it has started to associate itself as the south for whatever reason.  Because of this I grew up with an interest in all things southern, particularly southern religion.  Films like Forrest Gump, Sling Blade, and to a lesser extent, What's Eating Gilbert Grape.  Undertow looked like it would be a fun southern drama that fit with the others.  Sorry Olive Films that it took so long to get the review up!
     The film follows single father John (Mulroney) and his two kids who move to a pig farm as a way to start over.  His oldest son Chris (Bell) is acting out due to the change and is often getting caught up with the local law.  One day John's brother Deel (Lucas) shows up after serving time in prison and starts secretly searching the property for old coins that their father stole.  When John catches him Deel kills him.  Chris witnesses the murder and leaves with his younger brother and the coins forcing Deel to chance him through rural Georgia.
     When I was in high school I remember seeing stuff for Undertow popping up on different websites but I was not interested at the time.  If it wasn't vulgar, bloody, and stupid then I didn't want to see it.  However, as I got older I started to open my eyes to the world around me and ventured off this path where I found so many amazing movies.  Undertow is a well shot drama thriller but some of the scenes were irrelevant to the film.  The acting in this one is great.  The older Munn brothers, Josh Lucas and Dermot Mulroney, were great.  They took control of every scene they were in and made their characters bigger than the screen.  With that being said, the real stars of the film is Jamie Bell and Devon Alan.  These two feed off each other and the viewer can feel the love between these two.  It's hard to convince yourself that they are not actually brothers.  Their interactions and love on screen are what drives the film.  The story for this one is has its moments but it is something that has been done before.  The southern setting may be new but a film where two children are fleeing from a very bad man while holding something of value is nothing new.  In fact, I instantly thought of The Goonies when I started watching it.  Though The Goonies was intended for children and this one not so much.  The story is not slow or boring by any means but some of the scene have little to nothing to do with the story. These should have been cut to improve the flow of the film.  Finally, the film does have some blood and a brutal death scene that has great effects but that is as far as it goes.  The film is not a bloody one but does have some.  Overall, Undertow is a well shot southern drama thriller that has some amazing acting and a lot of character development.  The film is a bit too long but worth it.  

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