The Hollow Point ★★★

This would appear to be one of those films that Donald Trump had seen prior to his comments about Mexicans and issues at the US/Mexico border. This is grim, violent, and at times a mixture of despair and inevitability at how everything is going to turn out. Nobody gets away unscathed, and the law of the land really means nothing when money can buy a savage.

This thriller set in Arizona is all about the tentacles and reach of a Mexican Drug Cartel that's dug into every facet of a small town north of the border. To keep their ill-gotten gains, the Cartel needs ammunition to subdue those opposed to their venture, and that's where this film kicks off. Ian McShane and Patrick Wilson play a couple of sheriffs who stumble upon a smuggling ring where hollow points are heading south of the border. When things go awry, blood is spilled, money is stolen, and repercussions will be merciless. What transpires from there is almost biblical in its consequences as the Cartel send a one-man killing machine North who reminded me a little of Anton Chigurh from No Country For Old Men, which this film tries ever so slightly to emulate. John Leguizamo gets another of those roles where he lets his actions do most of the talking, about as violent a performance as I've seen from the former Benny Blanco from the Bronx. Both Wilson and McShane go through the wars here, Wilson especially, but despite the premise and twists and turns in a film that doesn't shy away from being gratuitously violent at times, it again lacks that certain something to really make it stand out. Maybe it's the lack of levity from a tale as grim as can be, or it's the script that doesn't give quite enough in terms of quality to actors who normally bring the thunder. McShane doesn't get enough to do, James Belushi's villain only gives us a glimpse of his nature in a couple of scenes, and Lynn Collins just seems wasted as the token real romantic interest in the film.

Director Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego was a new one to me, and he manages to create an intensity to several memorable scenes, but there are some moments when this tries to be too clever for its own good. A missed opportunity, this has definitely taken aspects from much better films and mixed them together with DNA strands of that Coen Brothers classic, and even a touch of Sicario.

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