The Hollow Point

Jul 1, 2016 | Posted by in 2016, EIFF
EIFF 2016

The sheriff of a small town along the U.S. and Mexico border finds himself investigating a drug cartel deal that went very wrong in Gonzalo López-Gallego’s The Hollow Point.

In many ways this is a buddy movie with young Lawman Wallace (Patrick Wilson) and old Lawman (Ian McShane) teaming up on the investigation that lands them in so much trouble throughout as they come to the intention of many unscrupulous characters.

Wilson and McShane are the high points of this film. Their buddy chemistry is completely on point and there is lots of great dialogue between the two of them. Each of them can give as good as they get from the other and there are plenty of laughs too be found in their interactions. James Belushi has a memorable turn as a duplicitous used car salesman and John Leguizamo is excellent as a machete wielding Mexican hitman.

The Hollow Point

Time for a Team-Up

Despite these powerhouse performances from a very talented cast I couldn’t really get on board with this as a viewing experience. It started out strongly enough but plods along at an uneven pace that got really uninteresting after a while. The whole situation becomes needlessly complicated towards the end which took me out of the film in a big way.

I also found the tone to be a little hard to pin down throughout. Sometimes scenes were played seriously and other times they were played for laughs. This is especially evident with the more violent encounters. Sometimes being shot with a bullet was a very loud and severe thing while other times gunfire flies around the scenery happily as if everyone is fighting with water pistols.

For me the inconsistency in what this film seemed to be going for was really jarring. I was thoroughly entertained in the more comedic moments but found my interest waning when exposition dumps were happening. It’s almost as if the script forgets to further the story so rushes to catch up with itself at several key points. The result is a really confusing narrative that becomes far too complicated as it progresses.

The film is very well shot with some impressive action sequences and brutal violence with a comedic edge to it. I’m not one for excessive violence and I never felt that this film crossed the line in any way so I have to give it points for that. With a little more tightening this is something I could have really enjoyed but I found it to be very hit and miss.

Verdict

An uneven experience that boasts excellent performances from a talented cast but fails in the execution. The inconsistencies in tone were really jarring to me and I found it more entertaining when the film wasn’t taking itself too seriously. It’s well shot and there is just the right amount of violence but the overcomplicated story doesn’t allow this film to shine as brightly as it could have.

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