Thursday, April 24, 2014

Movie Review: Mud

Ah, the idealism of youth and the destruction of it.  Life is always more complicated than it seems. Mud was marketed as a Matthew McConaughey movie, but the main character was really the kid, Ellis and his buddy, Neck Bone. Yes, his name is Neck Bone. Its set in Arkansas, on the river. Ellis and his family live on the river. His parents marriage is crumbling, but Ellis himself is a hopeless romantic. Neck Bone gives Ellis a book on how to woo women. Ellis figures out that the best way to attract the opposite sex is by beating the crap out of other suitors. Ellis and Neck Bone also meet a drifter named Mud, hiding on a desolate island in a boat stuck in a tree. Ellis gets drawn in by stories of his love for his girlfriend Juniper and fixates on the idea of an everlasting love.

This sounds like a cheesy Nicholas Sparks plotline in words, but picture this in a dirty, rugged, accented Arkansas kind of way, takes the cheese off and makes it a little edgy.  At worst its sharp cheddar.

Because growing up is about disillusionment, Ellis sees his girlfriend blow him off, and the adult relationships he admires are more complicated than he can comprehend. This is all going on while Mud is trying to run off with Juniper while bounty hunters and police are hunting for him for murdering a crime lord's kid. The movie comes to a head in a brief, but kind of badass hail of gunfire. The movie ties up nicely in that it ends in each character, the ones that live anyway, come to an understanding about life.

I feel like this movie could've been longer and deeper. The cast is excellent and the writing is strong enough to support a heavier script and story.  Maybe there is an unedited version of this sitting around somewhere, although I don't think you'll ever see a Directors Cut released for this film.  Which is too bad, as this is an honest, but positive movie with a great cast and a good feel to it.

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