REVIEW: Blue Ruin (2014) – Man Returns With Gun - ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Blue Ruin (2014) – Man Returns With Gun

Runtime: 90 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: Disgruntled, a man sets out with gun…

As far as Manly Movies are concerned, one tried and tested genre is the revenge flick.  It’s hard to go wrong with those, although Nicolas Cage’s Tokarev certainly managed that.  Our second revenge-em-up this week is called Blue Ruin, directed by Jeremy Saulner, it debuted at last years Cannes and hit theaters this past Friday.  If you enjoy old school movies where a man taking action almost completely visually supplants inefficient crap like gassy dialogue, leading to blood spraying over walls, you might just want to check this one out.  I fucking love movies where an incorrigible man sets out with weapons to destroy lowlifes who have it coming…

And that’s just what happens.  When a man learns that the man who murdered both of his parents is released from prison early, he feels that justice has not been done and sets out to right a wrong by slaying the pissant himself.  The revenge leads to a tit-for-tat war between the man (and sometimes, his former combat-veteran friend) and the murderous family of the now dead parolee.  This is not your typical revenge movie.  It’s slow and quiet and the aggrieved hero is a nervous everyman, an everyman who also happens to be a homeless bum living out of a rusted car on a beach.  But even hobos have their limits (Hobo With  A Shotgun, anyone? Okay, different genre, kinda) and we root for the man who declares that he’s not too fond of talking, during the first real conversation that takes place way into the movie.

It all sounds great so far but I should point out that the movie, obviously, is not perfect.  Some people won’t dig how it slows down every now and again, often coming to a pointless standstill.  The ending/finale looks like it should’ve had more thought put into it, the build up to it is completely hollow, like they were never sure on how to end it.  Too many drawn out cuts of the guy doing pointless shit.  The most important revelations in the story are also crammed into one 10 minute scene (not the ending). There’s also the problem of the leads – both the good guy and baddies, being pretty anonymous, why couldn’t they point out why such an intelligent man is homeless?  And why so many faceless baddies?

Quiet and personal as this movie is, it’s damned bloody!  In fact, the first killing in particular is one of the most gruesome and realistic in ten or more years that I’ve seen.  It’s almost like the director is a doctor and knew exactly what would happen to that part of the anatomy if you did *that* to it, using blood that looks like real blood, drips like real blood and pumps from arteries like real blood.  When someone is killed in this movie, you’ll be hard pressed to find it done more realistically in any other movie.  And violence counts in a movie about a man seeking an eye for an eye.  Blue Ruin, to summarize, is a movie that is part Death Wish, part Out of the Furnace, part Dead Man’s Shoes.  It invites you to be a fly on the wall, not out for a ride.

It’s slow and it can struggle with getting a point across, but it’s just about satisfying to watch.  This movie wants you to root for the bum, which is easy…