Film Review : A Single Shot (2013)

IMDB Score – 5.9
Rotten Tomato Score – 51%

Directed By – David M. Rosenthal
Starring – Sam Rockwell, Jason Isaacs, Kelly Reilly. William H. Macy, Ted Levine, Joe Anderson, and Jeffery Wright

The tragic death of a beautiful young girl starts a tense and atmospheric game of cat and mouse between hunter John Moon and the hardened backwater criminals out for his blood.

Ahh, back to my old roots of watching bleak films about backwoods crimes and the fight to survive. I rode the feeling I had from watching “The Lego Movie” for as long as I could before I got back to the more gritty cinema that I seem to find myself watching a couple times a week. I hope this isn’t a statement of my personality but light hearted comedies and children’s films just aren’t really in my interests. I’ve always gravitated towards dark drama/thrillers and my most recent film “A Single Shot” is a perfect example of the genre. It is not, however, a perfect example of a superior film of that genre.

I’ll be honest, there are just some things that peak my interest. Dark forests and Sam Rockwell are two of these things. The film centers around John Moore, played in typical magnificent fashion by Sam Rockwell. John is out hunting and accidentally pulls a Dick Cheney except instead of a mouthful of birdshot, the victim gets a shotgun blast to the chest and dies. This is in the trailer. This is in the synopsis. This is in the first two minutes of the film. The following two hours is a “wrong place in the wrong time” scenario that we have seen countless numbers of times. There isn’t anything new being presented in this film. The films director, David M. Rosenthal, is not known for many films, but is a talent behind the camera. This is a nice looking film. Most of the film has a dark, ominous color to it that only adds to the already suspenseful atmosphere of running around what I’m assuming is backwoods Kentucky. They may have stated where the film took place but I’ll be honest, I didn’t pick it up. The film reaks of similar films released in the last couple years including “Out of the Furnace” which was released at nearly the same time. The plots may be different but the feel is exactly the same. Everybody is dirty and talks like “Boomhauer” from King of the Hill. I almost turned the captions on because I couldn’t understand what the hell people were saying and it only got worse because as soon as I started to get the gist of what somebody was saying, they pop in chewing tobacco and it all turns to gibberish. Maybe this is why I don’t know where the hell this all took place.

Like I mentioned earlier, the film is nice to look at. The camera paints the bleak backwoods very well and the minimalist/dissonant score actually kept me from clocking out of the film. Sam Rockwell was also extremely good as he continues to prove he should be starring in more films instead of stealing scenes as secondary characters. In the end the bland, redundant, and sometimes unintelligible script was what did this film in for me. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before and it’s nothing we won’t see again. I suppose it’s worth a rental but don’t expect to be amazed by what you end up getting.

2.5/5

Related FilmsWinter’s Bone, The Hunter, Deliverance



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