Bullet Points: Mercury Plains
Scott Eastwood is the latest in a long line of actors following in the footsteps of their famous action star fathers. Men like Brandon Lee, Chad McQueen, Kane Kosugi and Mike Norris have all attempted to carry on their family’s action movie traditions with varying degrees of success.
2016’s Mercury Plains was one of Scott Eastwood’s first opportunities to prove if he could carry an action movie like his famous father before him did countless times in movies like The Gauntlet, In the Line of Fire and the Dirty Harry series.
- The Deadbeat Club: Scott Eastwood plays Mitch, a young man who is currently unemployed. Mitch lives with his mother and his mother’s new boyfriend who owns his own business delivering “porta potties” to sites employing migrant workers from Guatemala. Mitch’s days are spent looking for jobs in a market where they are few and far between and sitting on the couch, spitting chewing tobacco into a bottle and watching a crappy TV. Mitch’s nights are spent trying to block out the sounds of his mother banging The Shitter King and sitting outside, drinking a beer in his drawers and cowboy boots. When Mitch’s friend Naylor (Keith Poulson) shows up and suggests the two take a trip down to Mexico for some fun, it doesn’t take long for Mitch to agree and the two are on their merry way.
- South of the Border: When Mitch and Naylor arrive in Mexico they stop at a bar where the cerveza and whores are in abundance. Mitch is happy to sit at the bar and drink his sorrows away, but Naylor wants to do some nailing and gets himself a woman who requires 50 dollars to make him holler. After Naylor is done doing the nasty he sneaks out the window and hails a cab back to the United States. This becomes an immediate problem for the whore (who gets roughed up by her pimp) and eventually a problem for Mitch, who in the pimp’s eyes is guilty by association for his friend’s actions. This leads to a bar room brawl, where despite being outnumbered Mitch does not back down… this catches the attention of another patron at the bar named Jesse (Justin Park).
- My Captain, Oh Captain: Jesse introduces Mitch to a man simply known as The Captain (Nick Chinlund of Army of One fame). The Captain is former United States military and he is training a group of men in the art of freedom fighting. After hearing about the way Mitch handled himself in the bar, The Captain wants Mitch to join the team. The Captain offers Mitch $5000 a week, diplomatic immunity to do whatever needs to be done and a chance to make a positive difference in the world by waging war against the Mexican drug cartels. With nothing waiting for him at home, Mitch takes the deal and soon finds himself in Freedom Fighter Boot Camp at the Captain’s ranch.
- Men on a Mission: After a rough start (including being locked up in “the box”), Mitch gains the trust and admiration of the rest of the crew at The Captain’s ranch and it is easy to see that Mitch has a great deal of potential, especially compared to the rest of the team. With each mission The Captain sends his “freedom fighters” on, it becomes painfully obvious that most of them are terribly unqualified to be doing this sort of work… but it doesn’t stop The Captain from continually sending them in (even after some don’t make it back alive) and lining his own pockets with the spoils of these missions. It also becomes obvious that The Captain may not be the patriot he would like his men to believe he is. The Captain may be the lesser of two evils, but make no mistake about it, he is still evil. This fact that is not lost on our hero Mitch. The Captain’s ulterior motives put a strain on the Captain/Mitch relationship and their relationship is further strained when The Captain begins to question Mitch about sleeping with his girlfriend Alyssa (Angela Sarafyan). The shit really hits the fan when the Federales come after The Captain and his world starts to quickly unravel, including a final showdown with his top soldier, Mitch.
They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and in the case of Scott Eastwood I would say that is an accurate statement. Scott’s strong and silent portrayal in Mercury Plains was right out of the Clint Eastwood playbook. Scott’s turn as Mitch and Chinlund’s turn as The Captain were the bright spots in a movie that I don’t believe lived up to its full potential.
Mercury Plains, while not unwatchable, is a below average movie in my opinion. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more Mitch vs.The Captain and less of the rag tag group of wannabe soldiers and their pathetic attempts at action.
If you’d like to see more Bullet Points, then you’ll enjoy these Bonus Bullet Points…
- Something for the Ladies: If you prefer your Scott Eastwood shirtless, then Mercury Plains is the movie for you. The movie manages to get Scott’s shirt off at every possible opportunity.
- Speaking of Shirts: At one point, The Captain’s freedom fighters don “FBI” t-shirts when they pull some known drug dealers over. The drug dealers do not fall for this obvious hoax. The shirts may as well have been those “Female Body Inspector” novelty t-shirts.
- Rub-A-Dub-Dub: The Captain was wise in suspecting there may have been something going on between Mitch and Alyssa since the two did get it on in the bath tub. Oh yeah… spoiler alert.
- Worst Friend Ever: In life we will all have a friend or two that makes us think, “With friends like these who needs enemies?” But in all the movies I’ve watched, I have to say Naylor is a contender for worst friend ever. Can you imagine a friend convincing you to go to Mexcio, then abandoning you there with his whore bill?
- Captain of Industry: Nick Chinlund has an impressive action movie resume, besides the already mentioned Army of One with Dolph Lundgren, Chinlund has been in Con Air with Nicolas Cage, The Chronicles of Riddick with Vin Diesel and Lethal Weapon 3 with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.