Friday, May 19, 2017

Film Review: The Hollow Point (2016)

The Hollow Point (Review)
United States/2016
Format viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...the type of film you watch when you just want to turn your brain off and enjoy some tension/brutality."

A new sheriff in a small town along the U.S. and Mexico border is hurled into a deal-gone-wrong involving a Mexican cartel...

The Hollow Point follows Sheriff Wallace (Patrick Wilson) after he takes over for the previous sheriff, Leland, who murdered a suspected peddler near the border. Wallace continues Leland's investigation, searching for the ammunition that was being moved and the other parties involved in the deal while preparing for the inevitable consequences of the deal's failure. Before Wallace can really dig into the investigation, he bumps heads with a sicario (John Leguizamo) who is hell-bent on tieing up loose ends for his bosses. Without spoilers, that's pretty much the plot. There are some other subplots here, including a generic relationship between Wallace and an old flame, but none of it really shakes the core of the story. It leads to an underwhelming ending, too.

The Hollow Point is a mixed bag. The plot caught my interest, but it lost me during the final act. It's not that it had some silly twist or anything like that, it just ran out of steam and started dragging itself to a disappointing ending. There are some surprising scenes filled with blood and gore, but it plays its hand too early—before the second half, you've already seen the film at its most brutal. There are also some very interesting ideas regarding the sicario in this film. Particularly, I liked where he came from. He doesn't get much in the form of background, though. The characters aren't very bright, leading to quite a few plot contrivances. Oh, and if you're looking for a serious film surrounding the border and the cartels, you'll have to look elsewhere. Like I said, though, it's a mixed bag. Aside from the positives I've already mentioned, the film also offers some very tense and unnerving scenes as well as some very bloody surprises.

The acting was good. Patrick Wilson offered a solid performance as the leading man. John Leguizamo was underutilized, but he shines during a few scenes. The supporting cast wasn't horrible, either. The film looked decent and the music was okay. I didn't have any significant complaints or praise on the technical side. The film was written by Nils Lyew and directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego. The writing doesn't offer much in terms of character. The plot isn't bad, but it lacks depth and originality. The direction fares a bit better, creating scenes fill with tension and utilizing the cast well enough, except for Leguizamo. At the same time, the direction can't keep the film running for its already-short runtime.

Overall, The Hollow Point is a decent film. It's not great and it's not horrible. It's the type of film you watch when you just want to turn your brain off and enjoy some tension/brutality. If you're looking for something deep and serious, look elsewhere. If you need some bloody action and tension, this might be worth a stream on Netflix.

Score: 5/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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