Green Room – 5 out of 5
When I think about Patrick Stewart the word “villain” doesn’t come to mind and the idea of him playing a “white supremacist” is way out of the ballpark. I normally think of him as a kind, brilliant leader who is filled with wisdom and compassion…and I think of him as being a charming, amusing fellow in his everyday life. So, when I heard him doing press for Green Room and stating that he was not only the antagonist in the film but a leader of some skinheads, my interests was heightened and I really wanted to see if he could play a convincing Neo-Nazi (and, at the same time, didn’t know if I was ready to see that). So, how did he do playing the scumbag? How was the rest of the film in comparison? Well, as you can tell by the score, pretty good!
|It's way too easy to make a Trump rally joke here.|
While touring through the Pacific Northwest, the punk band the Ain’t Rights—Pat (Anton Yelchin, rest in peace), Reece (Joe Cole), Sam (Alia Shawkat) and Tiger (Callum Turner)—end up accepting a gig at a questionable venue. Desperate for the cash, the struggling group accepts this gig after a promoter at the last show failed to live up to his promise. The biggest problem is the venue is for a white supremacist group but it seems like it’ll be an in-and-out performance so it can’t be that bad; however, when the group is leaving they stumble upon a murder being committed by the headliners and they are now trapped in the green room of the venue (oh, that’s how they got the title). Now the owner of the club and leader of the skinheads; Darcy (Patrick Stewart), will stop at nothing to silence them and protect his cause.
|Reminds me of the time I did stand up in a record store for 5 people.|
|Yelchin, you were taken from us too soon, man.|
Without a doubt, Green Room is a fantastic thriller that delivers on some great tension, horrifying sequences of violence and has fantastic performances. The movie also does a tremendous job of developing characters without ever feeling like you are being subjected to development. Dialogue is mixed with subtle clues and hints to the background of these people and when this is blended with the a “lived-in” approach to the reality that the story takes place in, it makes for a feature that feels authentic and terrifyingly real—and that just makes the stakes even that more horrifying. For example, Darcy and his team of white supremacists throw around a lot of jargon and slang that pertains to their organization and director/writer Jeremy Saulnier did such a great job of crafting the script and presenting the story that you never feel lost at what they are saying or like you need the film to stop and explain this in further detail for you. From the moment the story begins, I felt like I was in an established universe of this band the Ain’t Rights and it really made me feel both invested in their situation and anxious as hell over the terror they were experiencing.
|With that flag, it is once again too easy to make a Trump supporter joke.|
And speaking of terror, this movie really delivers on it. Green Room works magic with creating suspense and tension as we watch this band involved in a seemingly impossible situation and it also brings in some truly shocking gore moments. While this film is far away from those gore porn horror films, there are moments of violence that are 100% shocking and hard to watch. Since the film doesn’t overly use this factor and that keeps these moments jaw-dropping. Additionally, the film capitalizes excellently on a great slow-burn pace and a tremendous use of color and shadow to set the tone and atmosphere. When all this is combined like some kind of thriller version of Voltron, it creates heart-pounding sequences of the protagonists trying to escape and a film that just does a tremendous job at keeping you on the edge of your seat.
|What the hell is that haircut?|
Finally, you can’t overlook the performances in this film. There isn’t a single character that isn’t pulling their weight in this movie. Everyone plays off each other so well and every character feels so damn legit that it was easy to lose myself in the cast. Special mention has to be made to Anton Yelchin and Patrick Stewart. Both have proven to be tremendous talents in the past and they once again showed their chops in this movie. And an even special-er mention has to made about Stewart because he is chilling as hell as the character of Darcy. I never thought he would ever spook me as a villain in a film but he did it!
|After he ordered his men to kill the band, I really wanted him to say, "Make it so."|
Overall, Green Room is a very suspenseful and fantastically executed thriller. The story is solid, the pacing is great, the performances are unparalleled and the shock factor delivers. The only downside I have for the film is that I don’t think it has much replay value to it and the odds of me ever watching it again are pretty slim. That aside, the film was very entertaining with its unnerving story and presentation.