Review: Out of the Furnace

It's funny how a film with "furnace" in the title can feel so cold and bleak.
 
When we meet Russell (Christian Bale) he's just an everyday factory working trying to make end's meet. He's in love with his girlfriend Lena (Zoe Saldana) and he's trying to keep his brother, Rodney (Casey Affleck) out of trouble before he is sent back on another tour in Iraq. One night, Russell has a few drinks, and after bailing Rodney out of trouble with John Petty (Willem Defoe) he gets behind the wheel and gets in a car accident resulting in the death of the driver and a young child. Once he's out of prison, Lena has moved on with a police officer named Wesley (Forest Whitaker, who despite looking like a teddy bear is someone I would NEVER want to piss off) and Rodney is still having money troubles. He agrees to fight for a ruthless man named Harlan (Woody Harrelson) and when he doesn't return, Russell will do whatever it takes to find him.
 
Out of the Furnace really is all about the performances. Harrelson establishes early on that his character is a colossal ass hat. Bale's carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and tries to put his head down and accept the terrible things that resulted from his car accident. Affleck's character is like a ticking time bomb. Saldana, Whitaker and Defoe don't get a whole lot to do, but it was nice to see their faces in these somewhat thankless roles)
 
The score is haunting and one of my favorite things besides the acting, but this film is rather dull and slow moving. It's very grey and moody. I do applaud it for being different, but I just feel that when you have performances this strong, the story should back them up, because this could've been great.
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: C+
 
Memorable Quote: "Since we're standing so close, why don't we try that now?" - Rodney (Casey Affleck)
 


9 comments:

  1. I was just thinking the other day, what's w/ the 'fire' theme in movies lately. First Catching Fire, now Out of the Furnace, and both has Woody Harrelson in it.

    I haven't seen it yet but I sense the coldness from the trailer, it just seems overly bleak as well. I like Bale but I'd rather rewatch American Hustle again, he's a hoot in that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to see American Hustle! That looks like a lot of fun.

      Delete
  2. i agree. i felt that the film gave the actors and characters a lot of emotions but there was no pretense for us as an audience so we couldn't sincerely empathize with them. plus, i felt there was some several character underdevelopment, especially in terms of saldana's character as she pertained to bale's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely, her and Whitaker even. When I first saw his character, I was like 'Is that really Forest Whitaker?"

      Delete
  3. I'll check it out on DVD for Harrelson, the man never disappoints.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He definitely does not. He's so mean here. The very first scene in the movie made me want to punch him in the face.

      Delete
  4. I get the problem you had with the writing, but I thought it worked like a charm, in the vein of older films like The Deer Hunter. Right now, this holds a spot on my top 10 actually. Glad you liked the performances. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did like the performances, I wish I could've liked this more.

      Delete


  5. Found your blog. It is full of really good information. Thank you for sharing. If you ever need service on water heater repairs please visit us at rheemteamcomfort.com. We would love it if you would have a look at some of our blogs and let us know your thoughts.


    ReplyDelete

If you're reading this sentence you should probably leave a comment.