Thursday, April 23, 2020

La terre et le sang/Earth and Blood (2020)

I have way too much time on my hands.  I should probably acknowledge that now.  When you ask why I would watch a movie I knew I wouldn’t like, you at least have some insight.  Netflix has a lot of movies and TV shows to offer, but I picked the one that I knew was going to be some sort of exposition followed by a shoot out.

The movie starts with four guys stealing drugs from a police station.  Some are killed, but one manages to make it out with the drugs.  He exchanges cars with his half-brother, Yanis.  Yanis is to hide the drugs from the cartel that wanted the drugs stolen in the first place.

So, Yanis drives his half-brother’s car, drugs and all, to the lumber mill where he works.  It doesn’t take long for Saïd, the owner of the lumber mill, to notice.  Saïd has a lot going on.  He’s dying and looking to sell the lumber mill.  He has a deaf-mute daughter to worry about and there’s no one in his family to take over the business.

Enter Adama, the local drug lord who runs the cartel.  He wants his stuff back and tracks it down to the lumber mill.  What follows is your typical shootout where Adama and Saïd are the last ones standing.

Fortunately, Saïd got his employees out before Adama arrived, but he does manage to take out most of the henchmen.  He also trusts Yanis to take his daughter somewhere safe.  This gives us a few scenes of the two of them dodging bullets.

Netflix has had a few good movies.  Tigertail comes to mind, as does The Platform.  It’s also had a few misses, like Coffee and Kareem.  This one falls into the miss category.  For a movie that could be billed as an action thriller, there’s not a lot of action, nor is there a lot of suspense.  I would say that the 80-minute run time is merciful, but it still feels like a two-hour movie.

The problem is that the antagonist is one-dimensional.  He’s a tough guy with guns out to get his drugs back.  Saïd is also somewhat of a weak character.  He’s got nothing to lose.  I had to wonder how the destruction to the property would affect the sale value.  I’m sure he has insurance and all, but we’re left to assume everything works out.

You look at the movie and wonder why?  Why didn’t Saïd sell the place sooner?  How is it that the bad guys come for him just after he makes the decision to sell?  Why would Yanis be dumb enough to bring the drugs to his place of employment?  (For that matter, why agree to switch cars rather than simply move the drugs?  Did he not think his boss would notice the new vehicle?)

There are so many reasons to skip this movie.  It’s not worth the 80 minutes.

No comments :