Movie and Film Reviews (MFR) Action No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men

The Coen Brothers return to the big screen with their adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men. McCarthy has been considered one of the four major American novelists of his time, and has been frequently compared to William Faulkner and Herman Melville by his critics. This sounds like an author whose books should be easily translated into great American films, Oscar worthy at that. The Coen brothers prove this statement to be a farce as this film has too many plots holes that are unable to be filled.

The story begins with Lewellyn Moss (Josh Brolin), a Vietnam veteran-turned-welder who goes hunting one bright, sunny day only to stumble upon a drug deal gone terribly wrong along with the drug money of 2 million dollars. The money is also being sought after by Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), a ruthless killer with no feelings towards human life. With his bottle of compressed air always at his side, Chigurh graciously tracks down Moss from rundown hotel to rundown hotel with a tracker that was hidden in the money before ending with one of the greatest sequences of thrilling suspense ever put onto film with Moss being trapped on one side of a hotel door quietly waiting for his killer, Chigurh, who waits for him on the other side. As the film continues, the bodies continue to pile up including Carson Wells (Woody Harrelson), a bounty hunter paid to kill Chigurh but finds himself on the wrong end of a Chigurh bullet. Tommy Lee Jones gives an inspiring performance as Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, the one man on the tails of the two men in pursuit of the money.

Javier Bardem gives a alarming depiction of Anton Chigurh, who is truly a unique and peculiar character that is infatuated with death which follows him wherever he goes, unless he decides otherwise. Many of his victims plead with him stating, “You don’t have to do this,” while Chigurh’s homicidal ways say otherwise. At times, he grants exceptions to the rule allowing his victims to decide their own destiny with a simple flip of a coin. Anton Chigurh reminds in comparison to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator with his unwillingness to quit leading towards his ultimate goal of exterminating the people that get in his way. Josh Brolin plays an appealing character one that the audience roots for to succeed. When the stakes are highest for him, not only does he try to escape with the money but he tries to evade a psycho killer.

The film works as a first-rate thriller for most of the film before taking a sharp turn into mediocrity with an ending seemingly unsuitable for a film that began with such an exhilarating beginning. The Coen Brothers deliver a somewhat entertaining film, but too many plot holes filled by tedious diversions cause the ending to unravel. Well, you have to look on the bright side, at least they didn’t pull a Fargo by giving the characters strong southern accents.

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