Overview: The sheriff of a small town on the Mexican border becomes embroiled in a cartel vendetta when a deal goes sour. Vertical Entertainment; 2016; Rated R; 97 minutes
Western: The modern take on the Western, or neo-Western, is a genre that has reaped dividends the past few years with movies like Sicario, Hell or High Water, and the seminal No Country for Old Men showing that the Western is a genre that still has great stories to tell. The Hollow Point is a classic Western story with a lawman dragged into a violent struggle when all he wants is to just do his job. Alongside the sheriff there is a drunken deputy type, a fallen-ish woman, a bad guy hit man, and a sleazy business owner. If you set this movie in Deadwood and removed all the walkie-talkies, it would still play out very close to the same way.
Cast: Patrick Wilson is an actor who’s gradually appearing brighter on a lot of radars. His recent turns in Bone Tomahawk, The Conjuring 2, and the second season of Fargo have shown him to be a dependable actor when you have a character who is going to take precisely zero shit but also be charming and vulnerable. His stint on Fargo as Lou Solverson is top tier character work and one of the best TV performances of the past ten years. In this he does well to dilute some of his charm with an asshole streak and a pigheadedness that gets him into trouble. Ian McShane co-stars as the drunk ex-sheriff and it’s probably no surprise that he steals every scene he is in. What is a surprise is Jim Belushi’s masterful turn as a used car salesman. Covered in flop sweat with an awful comb over Belushi lives the character as though they just grabbed a used car salesman straight off a lot.
Bullets: The Hollow Point is an entertaining crime thriller with a tight plot and some moments that made me gasp. There were a few moments where it felt as though scenes were missing though and at least one scene which required some explanation as to how a character was present/alive. A great thread throughout was the sheer amount of damage each character took. It was nice to see the filmmakers avoid the trope of the unkillable hitman as John Leguizamo’s character took just as much of a kicking as everyone else.
Overall: It’s not perfect and it loses some steam towards the end, but overall it is a tightly plotted little crime thriller with great performances, inventive violence, and a ton of Ian McShane being drunk and belligerent, so really what more could you want?
Featured Image: Vertical Entertainment