REVIEW: The Hollow Point (2016) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: The Hollow Point (2016)

Run Time: 98 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: A film with realistic and confident violence, but a wasted cast

I’m actually kind of sad over what came out of this movie.  It’s a film with a good score, meticulous realist violence and a cast that includes Ian McShane, John Leguizamo and Jim Belushi… now there’s a name we don’t see too often these days anymore, Jim Belushi.  But, it kind of meanders back and forth with no real story, which kind of drains willpower for a movie that heads towards 100 minutes.

The film opens with two hick cousins smuggling armour piercing ammunition across the Mexican border out of America to the Cartel, who are running short.  The Cartel does not like waiting around and expects its smugglers to be punctual, so when whiskey slugging killer Ian McShane (he’s still the Sheriff, despite this description) interrupts a delivery by shooting down one pissant at the side of the road, it triggers a quagmire of violence and retribution, with Patrick Wilson playing McShane’s colleague on the hunt of undercover Sicario John Leguizamo, who is prone to chopping off limbs and generally being an evil bastard.

This movie gets somewhat lethargic and even boring towards the second half.  I think the problem is that there are too many characters — for every male character it seems there has to be a female character tacked on, just because. And so begins a circulation of character relations that become meaningless and tedious.  Patrick Wilson, the lead actor, seems to just wander about and get involved in occasional bouts of nasty violence and his relation with one female is literally a waste of time.

My favourite things about this otherwise pointless modern western are Ian McShane and Jim Belushi (listed as James Belushi here).  Great actors, man!  Really into their roles and capable of elevating crap screenwriting with a bit of piss and vinegar, the latter in particular plays an excellent sleazy car salesman.  The other good thing about this show is that it fully uses its ‘R’ rating, one thing the director gets right is violence and it comes at you totally at random, which kind of unseats you out of the boredom every now and again.

Pity though, I wouldn’t recommend this movie and I’d hoped for better given the cast and premise.  It’s no Cold in July or No Country for Old Men, that’s for sure.  Watch those movies instead.

  • jim

    I liked it even less…6 out of10 ?…Way too generous. The film is a dog and aside from McShane and Belushi, a complete dead loss. Somehow it manages to make a simple story nearly incomprehensible. Were some scenes left unshot? These things are made so quickly these days it wouldn’t surprise me. A clumsy director goes for neo-noir high style and winds up looking incompetent…. Night didn’t mention the who guy loses a hand and goes straight back to work.. There are so many westernsdesert thrillers this film could have modelled itself on.How can these things be so bad? A simple functional approach to the story would have suited the modest budget…and I could have pulled better tough guy dialogue out of my ass… I had hopes for this one…Very disappointing. .Watch Hell And High Water to see how this should be done.

  • Yeah this movie just flat lined for me. Ian McShane was good but you’re right, it was a wasted opportunity.

    John Leguizamo’s character started off menacing but seemed to lighten up towards the end. His character lost his edge.

    I’ll give it a 6/10 too.

  • Jacob Phillips

    Pity, this looked quite good. Can’t say I liked No Country for Old Men though, the guy being stalked by the hitman part was good, but I thought Tommy Lee Jones’ tedious moralizing weighed that one down way too much, I’d have taken about half an hour out of that one.

  • This is a great movie. Well cast and well acted with a great musical score. I think the creators of this film cared a lot about the way the movie looks and sounds. I liked the cinematography–using the golden hours of dawn and dusk is an effective device. This movie was shot with a careful eye. I was very effected by the penultimate scene with the train–and the scoring of that scene is amazing. It seems that many people are jaded against this movie for some reason that I do not understand. Many of the scenes were fresh and hard hitting. I am very partial to a film with a great musical score. In such a movie I’m likely to forgive defects. I don’t find defective writing, casting, acting or shooting–it all works.