|12-18-2008, 07:45 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Los Angeles
This is the one about the old cowboy who gets duped in a Sweepstakes scam and decides to take justice into his own hands by finding the men who scammed him.
The synopsis alone is pretty promising. Unfortunately the movie doesn't live up to all of that promise. The script starts off well enough. Lee, 79 years old, is old and pissed at the world (think Clint Eastwood in the Grand Torino trailer). He's particularly pissed off at his son, Heck (If he should be pissed off at anyone it should be himself - for naming his son "Heck"). We don't know why yet, but the two haven't talked in a long time.
Lee has 34,000 dollars in his account and he's beginning to think that's not going to be enough to get him through the rest of his life. He's scared. So when someone calls and tells him he's won a million dollars, he breaks down in tears and thanks him. It's a heartbreaking moment, because you know he's getting scammed. And yet in his eyes, he's just gotten the first break of his life. Once he learns the truth however, he becomes devastated (naturally) and delivers the best line of the script: "I'm old. I screwed up...When you're old and screw up, there's no learnin from that mistake. You just are that mistake."
With no recourse but to take the law into his own hands, he gathers up the few clues he has, rides his horse from bank to bank, and tries to find out who's responsible for the scam so he can apply a little vigilante justice. What we now find out, is that his estranged son Heck (yes "Heck") is the sheriff, and Heck is the one who has to try and stop him. It's a nice twist.
I took exception with a couple of things though. First of all, Lee is 80. He hobbles around, and in every scenario where Heck has caught up with him, he still somehow outruns the guy. Second, the way he pieces together the information is ridiculous. The scam company apparently has a file at the bank headquarters. Because this company was obviously fraudulent, why hadn't someone checked them out already? Or reported them to the police? Yet they have their address right there on file.
Well Lee finally gets to the company in question (I'm going to get into some SPOILERS here) and there it is. For anybody to walk into. There's a single man working there and after threatening him with his life, Lee gets the man to bring him to the man who talked to Lee on the phone. In a bit of a twist, the "man" is just an 18 year old kid living with his parents (the mom inexplicably allows Lee to walk right in and talk to him - cause I let strange 80 year old freaky cowboy dudes into my house all the time). The kid was just trying to make some extra money and obviously had nothing to do with the creation of the scam. After Lee gets the kid to finally admit that he called him........that's it. He does nothing. In fact, he goes up and has dinner with the family.
Now clearly there's a statement being made here. That in this day and age there is no man behind the curtain. Every time you get through one curtain, there's another one waiting for you. It's impossible to find "the man in charge". But that route was a letdown. Because they created a cool character in Lee. An old man who'd kinda given up on life, who decided that he wasn't going to be fvcked around with anymore. And to not see him get justice...I felt a little led on. So I understand why they did it, but I think it was a mistake.
The prologue has us finding out - through a picture of Lee's - that the reason he's estranged from his son is that he'd married a black woman. This was supposed to be profound, but I found myself scratching my head. Besides a few vague references here and there, I didn't see Lee as racist. So why was that supposed to resonate?
I won't tell you what happens in the very end. But let's just say it's not a Disney movie. Not a bad read, but ultimately disappointing.
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