From 'Winter's Tale' to 'A Hauned House 2' and more
Kelly Reichardt's latest film, shot on location in the Pacific Northwest, may be absolutely beautiful, but it never manages to be compelling. An eco-thriller, the story involves three radicals coming together to blow up a hydroelectric dam that is hurting the environment. However, the only suspense ever generated is the question of when these folks are going to be caught. During the planning and execution of their act, the three simply lurch from stupid mistake to stupid mistake to stupid mistake. Any questions the audience has about the potentially correct motivations of the characters is undercut by the fact that they act so foolishly throughout the film; after all, if these characters aren't terribly bright about what they're doing, maybe they're not terribly bright about why they're doing it. There is a smart movie to be made exploring the reasons for eco-terrorism and what we're doing to our environment, but that movie requires intelligent characters acting based on well-reasoned and considered principles. What could be a movie asking people hard questions about our world and what we're doing to it instead wholly undercuts any pro-environmental aspect due to the characters at its core.
- Josh Lasser