Wild Bill Ketelhut provides the "blog" to this anti-blog
Wild At Heart
After seeing the new film by director Gordon Green, “Prince Avalanche” (loosely-based on the 2011 Icelandic film “Either Way”), I can’t help but thinking of the Talking Heads song ‘Road To Nowhere’ as this film really is designed not to really end up anyplace. Gordon really impressed me with his film “George Washington” and I did enjoy the quirky “Pineapple Express” and this film falls somewhere inbetween.
The film introduces us to Alvin (Paul Rudd) and his girlfriend’s brother, Lance (Emile Hirsch) as they leave the pressures of the city to work a summer job mulching gardens that had been ravaged by wildfires. Cinematographer Tim Orr does a good job bringing out some interesting landscapes as the two men, forced by the desolation of their location come to learn more about each other and themselves. There are no big issues here being dealt with, just the common every day concerns that we find ourselves dealing with every day.
We have a couple of oddball characters that occasionally break into their world from a truck driver who shares his liquor with them to the woman looking for her pilots license in her burned out house, but they are more distractions as the story itself should really be the bonding of the two leads. Alvin is the more adult yet meditative man while Lance is more the insecure, childish character. This is the appeal as they try to find common ground while rebuilding this area back up.
The film is very low key in its humor so don’t go in expecting the same energy as “Pineapple Express” but more like films as “Greenberg” or “Henry Poole Is Here”. The movie uses the introspection of their lives interlaced with subtle humor to bring more a smile than a heart-wrenching laugh.
However, this film really relies on the actors truly bringing it home. Paul Rudd is truly amazing in the film and really embodies his character bringing out Alvin’s as sometimes awkward, funny, meditative and unsure of himself. It is a nice understated performance from Rudd that is unfortunately not held together enough by Hirsch who truly seems unable to fully capture his characters slacker roots. That is not to say there are not some truly touching and funny moments here, but the film doesn’t really separate itself from similar, and better, films.
If you are looking for a film to just chill out to, this might be right up your alley, but if the films mentioned above bore you then I cannot recommend this for you. However, if those films are your cup of tea, then sit back and enjoy. I would give the film a C+.
Explosions In The Sky provides a nice soundtrack as the perfect band to score a film like this.
"Prince Avalanche opens at Landmark’s Main Art Theatre on August 9th.