What Not To Watch: Blunt Force Trauma
Are you looking for some action? Then you’ll want to do yourself a favor and look past Blunt Force Trauma.
Blunt Force Trauma came to my attention in my Netflix recommendations. A quick scan of the synopsis and I saw the words “vengeance” and “underground dueling”. Now I love a good tale of revenge and after reviewing movies about underground shootfighting, underground kickboxing and even underground swordfighting, I felt almost obligated to review a movie that dared to delve into the world of underground dueling, a world up until the moment I read the Netflix synopsis, I didn’t even know existed.
However, the main reason I gave Blunt Force Trauma a review is that Netflix, IMDb and Google all said that Blunt Force Trauma was an action movie. Reviewing and writing about action movies is what we do here. ACTION is even in the name of our site, Bulletproof ACTION. But…
- This Is Not An Action Movie!: That is the thought that kept running through my head as I watched Blunt Force Trauma. I would categorize this as a dramatic piece and what little action there is in the movie is extremely repetitive. A shootfight can go back and forth. One fighter has the advantage, the other makes a comeback, creating drama in the process. A good swordfight can be like a human game of chess. But dueling… you’ve got two people, standing across from one another, whoever draws their gun and shoots first wins. There’s no ebb and flow. The whole thing is over in a split second. That makes for a great finale in a western, but to see this scenario play out multiple times in a movie and the novelty quickly wears off. They did try to spice it up a bit, when the leading lady of the film, Colt (played by Freida Pinto of Rise of the Planet of the Apes fame) gets in on the dueling action and makes a side bet with her much larger male opponent named Huey. If Colt wins, Huey will tell her the whereabouts of the man who killed her brother in a duel, if Huey wins, Colt has to orally please him. Huey winning would have inserted some hardcore action into the film, but Colt wins and it is Huey that ends up on his knees.
- We’re On the Road to Nowhere: I should probably fill you in on some of the details of the movie. As I mentioned above, Colt is looking to avenge her brother and is in hot pursuit of the man who killed her brother. John, the hero of the movie played by Ryan Kwanten of True Blood fame, is on a quest of his own. A relative newcomer to the dueling circuit, John is looking for the biggest duel out there, a duel with the dueler of all duelers, Zorringer. Colt tags along with John as he goes from town to town looking for duels to get the attention of Zorringer’s people, allowing her to get information on her brother’s killer. The movie really plays up the whole vengeance angle and when Colt finally catches up with her brother’s killer, the dude is already dead. I was promised some revenge and all I got was her and John looking at the killer’s corpse! Are you kidding me?!?! It is like they gave Colt a backstory just for the sake of giving her a backstory. It doesn’t pan out! She could have simply been some woman that John met and fell in love with. If you tease vengeance, the audience should get vengeance! Could you imagine Paul Kersey in Death Wish 2 dusting off his gun, putting on his hat and heading out to go kill the punks that raped his daughter, then when Kersey locates the punks’ hide out he finds they are all already dead because of a drug overdose!?!? What’s the point!?!?
- Coming Distractions: There was a casting choice in Blunt Force Trauma that I found quite distracting… Mickey Rourke as the gun slinging guru, Zorringer. Rourke’s role in the movie is limited and that is not a good thing. I say it is not a good thing not because the movie would have benefited from Rourke’s years of acting experience, but because the man looks like a freak. I hate to sound superficial here, but had Rourke been in the movie more, I would have had time to get used to seeing his lizard like features. Instead he comes in right at the end and I’m so distracted by the oddity that he has become and asking myself if he seriously paid someone to assist him in looking the way he does that whatever positives he may have added to this non-action film were lost.
- How Do You Like Them Apples?: Now maybe at this point in my review I am nitpicking, but the musical choices for much of this movie had me scratching my head. I’m not sure why exactly, but the music reminded me of some of the music I heard in the movie Good Will Hunting. Maybe I figured if I was going to NOT watch an action movie, it should have been a quality movie like Good Will Hunting, instead of a boring movie pretending to be an action movie like Blunt Force Trauma. There is no way in hell anyone would ever confuse Good Will Hunting and Blunt Force Trauma. Good Will Hunting was about a mathematical genius in Boston, Blunt Force Trauma was about dueling in Colombia. Good Will Hunting was a fantastic film, Blunt Force Trauma was the opposite of a fantastic film.
I hope you heed my advice, I tried not to beat you over the head (potentially causing blunt force trauma?) with reasons not to watch this film but Blunt Force Trauma is definitely one not to watch. And I didn’t even mention the ambiguous Sopranos like ending?