Monday, March 17, 2008

Movie Review: No Country for Old Men

I said yesterday that I was left with a feeling of "meh" after watching No Country for Old Men. Now that I've had a long sleepless night, and long irritating work day to think about it, I take the "meh" back.

This is a deep story. The voice of the story is Tommy Lee Jones' character, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell. In fact, he narrates the film. His line that really sums up the point is:
It starts when you begin to overlook bad manners. Anytime you quit hearing "sir" and "ma'am", the end is pretty much in sight.
This movie is a requiem for the U.S., I think. In the story, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) happens upon a bad drug deal and finds a case full of money. He risks life, family, and limb to get away with the money, even though he is chased by a truly scary psychopath who was hired to recover the money.

The film has taken a lot of flack for being too violent and bloody. It was both. That's the point. We will do incredibly horrible things to each other to get ahead. People like Anton Chigurh, the psychopath, are created by the culture of more, more, more. The tagline of the movie is "There are no clean getaways", and that means that you can't walk away with $2,000,000 in drug money without getting some blood on your hands. There is no quick fix, and we're now in the place where a guy like Llewelyn entertains the notion that there is.

Tommy Lee Jones is always awesome, but he was particularly so here. As Ed Tom Bell, he represents the old men in the title, and really all of us. Don't you just look around sometimes and wonder how we got here? This movie does too.

I now have to watch this again. I recommend it. 5 out of 5 nipples.

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