Have you been watching a lot of films about people being on the lam? Some begin to be quite repetitive, as it's always been the same issues dug through and through - mostly relationship based. If you're looking for something quite different, I don't think From Dawn Til Dusk can be not too different to satisfy that movie craving. I think I spent most of the film with a 'what is this?' sort of face. It really was what I wasn't expecting.
Brothers Seth and Ricky Gecko have been on the run from the authorities, trying to get to Mexico in order to seek refuge. However, they've been having a difficult time covering their tracks, with Ricky killing almost everyone they've encountered - whether to their fault or not. They found their ticket to Mexico when a RV family was traveling for vacation. Holding the family hostage, they strike a deal that they will let the family go if they take the brothers across the border, and spend the night with them at a stop while waiting for their contact to meet them. What seems like a simple enough story will leave you flabbergasted at what would the group encounter next.
I thought that it had the markings of a Quentin Tarantino film, based on the bloodbath. I think the director was somewhat influenced by him. It does present a different dilemma to usual on the lam films, touching on the horrific side of things. It's not something that was to be expected. What sets it apart as well is that when you expect that there will be some heart to things, they don't. They completely stay in character - their mannerisms, their way of life. I thought after all that trauma something else would have conspired with the remaining players (oh, such a spoiler, I think) but their thoughts have stayed within character.
Despite the grime that's got him covered for half of the film, George Clooney still never lost his footing. He was ruthless but he appears to have compassion. His character, like the others was very clear from the beginning. I like how even if the whole dilemma was insane, they use their built up personalities to their advantage. Clooney, along with the human truckers were their bad boy ruthless personas. Tarantino's character was a bit mental, his state of being touched on with a few scenes. Still, while his capability can be a burden to someone on the run, Seth still trusted his brother.
Making up the group are the Fullers, a religious family. Jacob Fuller used to be a pastor, until he deemed his faith not enough for his job. Throughout the film, they bought into the insanity (it is easier to believe what you see with your eyes) despite their upbringing, and used it to their advantage. At the latter half of the film, everyone's characters just mesh up together, making it difficult to see who's really leading. They all have their moments of distinction - they each had their own scene when they were being the center of attention.
The film was definitely surprising and still entertaining. Just when you think everything is over, or it won't ever be over, it proves you otherwise. The pacing is just right for the division of the film. The first half built the simple plot, while the latter half was the twist and turns of things.
Final Word: It definitely had me put on a confused surprised face for half of it, but entertaining nonetheless.
Cast: Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis
Director: Robert Rodriguez