Review: Broken Horses

Broken Horses is an American film from Indian writer and director Vidhu Vinod Chopra. This has gotten some amazing accolades from other film makers like Alfonso Cuaron and James Cameron. This film has not got a very good reception from audiences or some critics. So what did I think of this film?

This film stars Anton Yelchin as Jakey and Chris Marquette as Buddy. They are brothers and Buddy is mentally challenged. This film starts out with Buddy as a young boy meeting his father played by Thomas Jane at the shooting range. They have a little father-son talk and out of nowhere the father is shot and killed. We then see a young Jakey playing his violin at a recital. When Buddy goes back to work after his father’s funeral, he meets crime boss Julius Hench played by Vincent D’Onofrio. Hench tells Buddy who killed his father and where he lives, buddy goes to the house with no fear and kills the man. The film flashes forward 8 years when Jakey is getting married soon to Vittoria played by María Valverde. He goes back to his hometown to visit his brother and have him be his best man at the wedding. Buddy has been working for Hench for the last 8 years and Jakey sees he is different person then he remembers. Will Buddy be able to quite his job with Hench and go live with his brother? Will Jakey be able to accept his brother the way he is now? Will Hench let either of the brothers live?

This film also has Sean Patrick Flanery in a small but disturbing role worth mentioning. This film is beautifully filmed with a classic film noir feel in a number of scenes. The story is a simple but very dark plot. The brother dynamic is interesting, with the blood thicker then water theory tested. This movie adds up to a very good film. It is not the best low-budget neo noir I have seen this year, but it is worth watching. I think fans of noir will enjoy this film even if the general movie public doesn’t.

Favorite Tidbit: This is actually a remake of a Bollywood film called Parinda from 1989. That film was written and directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra as well. Parinda was one of the first neo noir Bollywood films to make a profit, ushering in a wave of Bollywood noir film. Here is another film I will be adding to my never-ending “must see list.”

Review: Run All Night

Run All Night is another neo-noir staring Liam Neeson, will this be as good as A Walk Among the Tombstones or has Liam Neeson run his course as the over the hill action star? This film was directed by Jaume Collet-Serra who also teamed up with Neeson for Unstoppable and Unknown. Neeson has an outstanding supporting cast with Joel Kinnaman, Common, Ed Harris, Bruce McGill, Genesis Rodriquez, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Nick Nolte in a small uncredited part. This has to be a great film, right?!?!

Neeson plays a burnt out thug, who is down on his luck. He is a close friend with Harris’ character, who is a mob boss. They both have sons and when one son sees the other committee a murder the adventure begins. Kinnaman plays Neeson’s son and the witness to the murder. He has a family with his wife played by Rodriquez and a job as a limo driver. He has estranged himself from his father and is living on the straight and narrow. When Neeson hears about the murder and his son being a witness he sets out to do whatever he can to keep him safe.

This all takes place over the course of one night as for some reason, if they make it to the morning all will be OK. The action is great and some of the scenes are entertaining and the acting is pretty good. This film is just missing something for me to call it a great film. There are worse ways to spend a lazy evening then watching this film, but I can’t call it a “must see” film. If you are a huge fan of Neeson you will enjoy this film. If you have not seen Neeson in a neo noir film but would like to try one, I would say skip this one and watch A Walk Among the Tombstones instead.