No Country for Old Men opens at Regal Green Hills

No Country for Old Men is the latest film by the Coen Brothers. While I am utterly in love with most of Joel and Ethan’s previous flicks, I must say I was a bit disappointed by this one.

Starring Josh Brolin as Llewelyn Moss, a hunter who stumbles upon a murder scene and finds a bag with $2 million in it, Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh, a bloodthirsty killer after the bag of cash, this film explores human desire and desperation amid the most bizarre and turbulent obstacles.

We also get performances from Tommy Lee Jones as the local Sheriff Bell as well as Woody Harrelson, whose presence in the film still baffles me. Harrelson is always loveable, but his character comes and goes too quickly without moving the story forward at all.

The villain, Anton, is reminiscent of the villain in an earlier Coen Brothers film, Raising Arizona, in the sense that both antagonists have an inherent need to kill without any provocation or remorse, so much so that both stop to kill even harmless animals along the way.

But reminiscent or not, I still feel like this may well be the Coen Brothers’ weakest film yet. It ends abruptly and without much explanation, almost pushing the viewer to look away before cutting to black. I wondered in the theater if there was something I had missed. Lo and behold, there was not.

Perhaps the Coen Brothers are getting too big for their britches. Having written, directed, edited, etc., quality film after quality film, I believe they feel they can get away with anything, but that just isn’t the case. And I’m just not sure if this film will leave mass audiences completely satisfied.

On the flip side, however, the Coen Brothers reek of intelligence and humor in virtually every film they produce, and I admittedly laughed many times while watching this film. Also, they capture the culture of the Southwest in a hilariously uncanny way.

If you love the Coen Brothers, see this film. It is merely another example of their unparalleled talent. Just don’t expect No Country for Old Men to match previous films by the duo such as The Big Lebowski or Fargo.

No Country for Old Men opens at the Regal Green Hills on Wed., Nov. 21.

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