I generally like the Coen Brothers’ movies for their work in kissanime that has brought viewers from all around the globe. They’ve had some great ones. “Fargo,” “Raising Arizona,” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” come immediately to mind. One of their lesser known movies that I thought was an excellent movie, “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” starring Billy Bob Thorton, is so rarely talked about that it may as well have been “The Movie That Wasn’t There.” This isn’t the case for “No Country for Old Men.” Look on any of the big name critics’ lists, and it will be in their top movies of 2007.
So when my friend asked me if I was up for seeing this movie last night, I thought I was going to be in for a treat. I was sadly mistaken. First let me establish that I have not personally read any of the reviews for this movie because I wanted to go in “fresh,” but you’d have to be really out of the whole movie scene to not have heard of this film and the praise it has garnered.
Set in the desolate plains of West Texas in 1980, the plot involves Llewelyn Moss, played by Josh Brolin, who discovers a grisly scene of dead bodies, Mexican drug smugglers, when he’s out hunting. Llewelyn finds a case of cash on one of the dead bodies, a case that is being hunted for by a psychopath killer, played by Javier Bardem, a deadly killer who tends to murder any living creature that has the misfortune to cross his path. Including birds.
Sounds interesting, right? It started out pretty good. My problem with the film is that you don’t really know what happens in the end. Maybe the critics like this. I didn’t like that about the movie and neither did my friend. It’s almost as if the writers decided that they really didn’t know what more to write, so they just ended it and left the work of figuring out what happened to the main characters to the viewer. That’s not the way to write a movie. If I want a movie like that, all I have to do is walk out of the theater in the middle of it.
I thought that Tommy Lee Jones was going to have a bigger part in the movie. His part as the local sheriff is much smaller than I was anticipating, which is a shame, because he is such an excellent actor. All of the acting was top notch. The filming was well done also. It’s just the plot. You can’t leave a movie up in the air that way. Well, I suppose you can, but I’m not going to like it if you do, and I was sorely disappointed in this violent and bleak movie.