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No Country For Old Men....Meh...

On Friday night, Kelly and I went to see No Country for Old Men. As you probably know, this picture is the latest effort from the Coen brothers and judging from all the positive reviews and all the awards it's won, it's a big hit. As far as I'm concerned though, well, meh is all I can come up with....

The problem for me was that there were too many continuity issues and superfluous/non-believable parts. Which is really frustrating because I think most could have been avoided - and had they, the movie could have been great. But they weren't. And there are way too many to overlook. So, without further ado here's my list of issues with this movie. Btw, spoilers below - so if you haven't seen it, you are forewarned.

1. First, I didn't believe that Llewelyn would go back to give the guy water. He had no problem leaving the guy in the first place, made no other efforts to give medical care. The guy's half dead already. His chances of living more than a couple of hours in the middle of the desert, with no water and bleeding from gunshot wounds? Pretty slim. But in the middle of the night, hours later, Llewelyn wants to bring him water? Righhht. And why water? What he needs is an ambulance. I'd believe Llewelyn making an anonymous call to the EMT's from a pay phone reporting this, but don't buy he'd bring him a jug of water. Didn't make sense. Since the whole movie is sprung from this one unbelievable act, it's kind of important.

2. And when he did go back, why didn't he drive all the way to the crime scene. There were five other cars there, so obviously you could get there. Why park far away and walk? If you're worried about danger, aren't you better off in the car than on foot?

3. And about the antagonist - the Javier Bardem character - he definitely was creepy - which in this case is good. But, I think a lot of that came not from his acting but from (a) his creepy haircut; (b) his Michael Myers like ability to walk away from any injury, never get caught and still be ever-present; and (c) his innovative choice of weapon. Get past the haircut and the air gun and he's like a horror movie character - and just not believable.

4. The Tommy lee Jones character bugged me. This movie was 2 plus hours and for most of it his character is, at best, a marginally supporting actor. But the final 15 minutes of the movie are devoted to him? I didn't connect with him during the whole movie, and now, at the end, for no reason, I'm supposed to?

5. The Woody Harrelson character bugged me too. Who was he? Why was he there? Who was his weird boss?

6. Also, Woody's character finding Llewelyn in the Mexican hospital wasn't believable to me. How did it happen? They never say. Woody says it took 3 hours. Ok, fine. How? This was 1980. Some random American with no id in stolen clothes crosses the border and checks into a random hospital and woody's character finds him? In 3 hours? Please....Same thing goes for Javier Bardem finding him as well....

7. And who were these ever present random Mexicans that kept finding Llewelyn? They found him at the first motel, the motel in El Paso - they found his wife, mother-in law...how? The first group was actually killed at the first hotel. Then another group of entirely new guys, with no tracker to help them, find them in El Paso...after finding his mother in law, wife, etc. How??

8. And speaking of that tracker, i found that to be a bit unbelievable too. Ok maybe Javier gets lucky and the tracker hones in on Llewelyn at the first motel. But lightening strikes twice and he finds him at the second hotel as well? I don't buy it.

9. As for the money, the fact that a lot of the bills were $1 bills (visible when he flipped through them when he found the tracker) - not $100's - was never addressed. Someone knew that the case had a lot less than $2M in it - yet, everyone (Bardem, Harrleson, the Mexicans, Llewelyn) was acting like there was $2mm. If it was only $50k, would these guys be killing everyone and their brother to get it back?

10. Finally, the ending. Not the ending of the movie - which came abruptly after trying to get me to identify with Tommy Lee Jones' character - but the ending of Lewellyn. Here's a move that does a good job of getting me to identify and like the main character - but not the satisfaction of seeing how he meets his fate. Just a hint that a group of Mexicans who somehow found him, offed him in a motel room. It's a weak payoff.

But, other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the movie? Actually, despite all that, it really was not bad. But it could've been great. And that's what's left me feeling frustrated about it. Anyway, I'll leave you with one last question: who ended up with the money? Javier Bardem? I didn't see it with him when he walked off with that broken arm....

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Comments (1)

Nik:

I agree. Thought it had a lot of potential but left me a bit short. Also, given the Fargo like tone of the movie, was a bit disapointed that Lewellyn didnt overcome Javier. But the 1st inkling that I had that Lewellyn was not going to make it was with Tommy lee's story about the guy trying to kill a cow and kills himself in the process (which i thought was great)

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