A Single Shot – 3 out of 5
If Sam Rockwell is in a movie, it’s almost guaranteed that I will see it. I’m a big fan of the guy. I think he is insanely talented and doesn’t get the recognition that he deserves. Also, he’s handsome and the furniture he picked out for his place really creates a great flow and—WHY HAVE YOU STOPPED ACCEPTING MY CALLS, ROCKWELL?!?
Sorry about that…I’m better now.
A Single Shot centers on John Moon (Sam “I’m secretly a God” Rockwell). Despite going against all known logic, a man with the last name Moon is not having a very great deal of luck. Face with poverty looming at every corner and the fact his wife is requesting a divorce, John Moon (seriously, that is a great fucking name and the world should be yours for the taking when you have it) must resort to poaching to try and make some ends meet. While on a hunt, Moon accidentally shoots a young woman; while this is a tragic turn of events, he does find out that she is holding onto a great deal of money. The man hides the body and takes the cash but soon learns that someone knows what he’s done and beings to torment and threaten him…unless they get the money back.
|"You'll get your money back...over my poverty-stricken, redneck dead body."|
For the most part, I enjoyed this movie but it did have some drawbacks that will keep me from ever returning to watch it again (although, Sam Rockwell is NOT one of them). I think the biggest detractor is the film’s length. Running at nearly two hours, the film isn’t totally too long but the length becomes a factor when the end of the film starts to wrap up the mystery that has been building (up to that point it was a slow, steady and quite methodically pace) and it gets wrapped up way too quickly. A majority of the characters important to the story and the plight of John Moon aren’t fully developed or established enough in the running length and during the big reveals, I found myself saying at few times, “Okay, now was I suppose to know who that man is that you are speaking of?”
|For example, William H. Macy's character lists off some names and I discovered|
I had no idea who he was speaking of the entire time and wondered if, at any point,
were the characters actually introduced by name.
One thing I really enjoyed about the movie was the film’s look. The film’s locale is overcast, grey, and depressing and the film’s look and tone matches the weather perfectly. These two elements working in concert is fantastic but it also becomes a double edged sword since, at times, the film is simply too dark to even notice what is going on. Granted, the film’s story and John’s life is one soaked in turmoil, trouble and a new terrifying situation with the death of a young girl at his hands and being terrorized because of the money he stole, however, it would have been nice to see what the hell was going on most of the time.
|Damn, even his beard is a great actor.|
Other than these two complaints, I really enjoyed the movie. The story is already interesting and filled with potential for great drama and tension but the real factor that I enjoyed the most, and this isn’t actually that surprising, had to have been the acting. You know how I feel about Sam Rockwell but everyone in this film is doing a tremendous job. While many of the characters aren’t as developed as they needed to be, the actors portraying them really felt like real people—people you would actually met in everyday life. The realism only becomes all the more realery (totally a word that I just made up) when you listen to the dialogue. The vernacular, the accents, the slow drawl, slurred and mumbling speaking, it all comes together to make characters and character interaction that felt authentic.
|Jeffrey Wright was also in this film and, although I couldn't understand a word|
he said, he was great in this one.
A Single Shot isn’t an amazing film but it has some amazing aspects to it. While the characters aren’t as feathered out as they needed to be for the mystery surrounding the film’s story, the way they are portrayed makes the film or, at the very least, makes for a single, curiosity-enhanced viewing.