Monday, June 9, 2014

Film Review: Charlie Countryman (2013)

Charlie Countryman (Review)
United States/2013
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Streaming
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

", funny, and even occasionally exciting."

Visions of the dead lead Charlie Countryman (Shia LeBeouf) abroad, where he falls for Gabi (Evan Rachel Wood), a young Romanian girl...

Charlie Countryman follows the titular character as he tries to win over Gabi, a woman he instantly falls in love with. Most of the time, Charlie's wandering the streets unwittingly getting in and out of trouble. But, the worst of his trouble comes from ruthless thug Nigel (Mads Mikkelsen), Gabi's on-and-off again husband. Anyway, that's basically how it goes: Charlie tries to romance Gabi, he gets into trouble, usually with his new roommates, and tries to survive Nigel. The ending felt a bit like a cop-out; it lacked some satisfaction, and just didn't really feel logical.

Charlie Countryman is forty percent comedy, forty percent romance, and twenty percent action. The humor is a blend of black, lighthearted, and quirky; there were a few moments that missed the mark, but I laughed out loud at least twice and smiled a lot. The romance is by-the-books yet effective; Charlie and Gabi fortunately share great chemistry. The action is also straightforward; there was one great chase scene towards the end, but, like I said, the action is limited. All of the elements are well balanced, and the film is well paced -- I didn't check the timer once. To be frank, I simply enjoyed it. It's not a masterpiece, but it doesn't have many flaws, other than the ending. What can I say, it's a great time-killer.

Surprisingly, Shia LeBeouf is great as the titular character -- he has great charisma and wit, and he's very genuine. Evan Rachel Wood was decent; something about her accent seems odd, doesn't really seem authentic. Mads Mikkelsen, who's superb in Hannibal and The Hunt, shares less screen time, but delivers a fantastic performance. The cinematography is great, the film has a distinct and attractive style. The soundtrack is also perfect, the music really leads your emotions well. Director Fredrik Bond creates his consistent and distinct vision of romance and humor well.

Overall, Charlie Countryman is a great film. It's fun, funny, and even occasionally exciting. It might even inspire someone to take a similar trip of their own. However, the ending is flawed, it ultimately lacks some impact, and Evan Rachel Wood delivers the weakest performance. Regardless, definitely worth at least a stream -- especially for those with an open-mind.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Some violence and blood, nudity and a brief sex scene.

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