Baytown Outlaws on Blu-ray Featured

Monday, 31 December 2012 09:07
Posted in Blu-Ray
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The Baytown Outlaws on Blu-ray and DVDThree dysfunctional, hillbilly brothers called the Oodies are contracted to return a boy called Rob to his Godmother, Celeste (Eva Longoria – Desperate Housewives). Unbeknownst to them, Celeste’s evil ex-husband (Billy Bob Thornton – “Bad Santa”, “Armageddon”) has been holding the lad until his sizeable trust fund is unlocked, and consequently takes extreme offense when the outrageous Oodies snatch Rob from under his nose.

What ensues is a road movie where “Mad Max”, “Desperado” and The Dukes of Hazzard collide as one gang of stereotypical killers after another is despatched by Thornton’s increasingly incensed character to take down the Oodies and recapture Rob (Thomas Brodie-Sangster – Game of Thrones, Doctor Who). Meanwhile, an FBI detective investigates corrupt Sheriff Millard, the unsavoury brothers’ regular employer.

This movie desperately wants to be as cool as Quentin Tarantino’s output, and it does get some things right. For starters, two of the three brothers have lots of personality and charm. Clayne Crawford (Justified, 24) is Brick, the brains (relatively) of the gung-ho outfit, sporting a sweaty Confederate flag t-shirt. Travis Fimmel (The Beast) is McQueen, the youngest and daftest brother who tends to be blind-sided by his sex drive.

Daniel Cudmore (“X-Men: The Last Stand”, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” Parts 1 and 2) is the third brother, Lincoln, a towering tank of a man who uses a Speak-and-Spell to communicate because his voice box was crushed in a wrestling match. Sadly his acting in this film is not as impressive as his character’s ability to soak up damage!

Longoria is not in the movie that much, but she makes an impression when she does appear, and Thornton does a decent enough job as the standard shouty big-bad. Sangster convinces as the disabled and mute boy, effectively using his face to convey meaning. Prison Break’s Michael Rapaport also deserves a mention as an amusingly clueless bar owner who spends so long making the boys a sandwich (and complaining to himself about it) in his back room that he misses his bar being shot to pieces.

The movie loses marks in the action department. It starts strongly enough with a rapid-fire shootout, but after that the battle scenes lack clear direction and often feel like the Oodies were filmed shooting one way, and the baddies were shot separately firing the other. This means that there is a sense of disconnection that undermines the action. With the exception of some pretty hot and leggy biker girls, the various gangs sent to kill the brothers, lack any depth or charisma.

The film also has a problem with its mix of tasteless dialogue and violent bloodshed on the one hand, and more sentimental contemplation of things like Rob’s disability on the other. In isolation they are okay but they do not blend particularly well, creating a rather jarring effect.

Writers Barry Battles (also the director) and Griffin Hood have some good ideas but throw in too many, and seem to be trying too hard to ape Tarantino rather than present their own unique vision. The whole FBI agent/Sheriff investigation sub-plot feels surplus to requirement and interrupts the flow of the movie. The end result is an okay film that satisfies and disappoints in equal measure.

The so-so special features include a making-of and two trailers. Finally, the ‘15’ certificate seems strangely lenient given the amount of gun and knife violence on display!

“The Baytown Outlaws” (2012) is out now on DVD and Blu-ray, courtesy of Universal Pictures UK. The main feature has a running time of 99 minutes approx, carries a ‘15’ certificate and retails for £12.99 on DVD and £15.99 on Blu-ray, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

Last modified on Monday, 31 December 2012 11:54

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