SpaceBrew Review: No Country for Old Men

It’s been a while since I’ve had the time – and frankly, the desire – to watch a movie. I’ve been reading a lot more lately, and what with having three kids who need what seems like almost constant attention until almost nine o’clock, it seems I never really have time. How, you might ask, do I have time to read, but not watch movies? Well, the answer is rather obvious if you ask me. Movies involve a lot more than just yourself. And not all movies I like to watch are rated PG or below.

Anyway, whatever supernatural forces favored me, the stars aligned, and I was finally granted a few hours to sit back and watch some good cinema. I chose No Country For Old Men. As always, my red-haired wife fell asleep after about forty minutes, leaving me to absorb the picture basically alone. Allow me to tell you what I thought.

Right away, we are introduced and attracted to the dark, curious – and not a little scary even – physiognomy of the antagonist. Javier Bardem was a perfect cast for the part. Originally, having only seen the cover of the movie, and not reading the synopsis or any reviews, I had no idea what it was about. Well, actually I did, but it was flawed. My idea was that he was an Indian, and they were probably going to meet him in the country and… Well, I hadn’t really developed anything beyond that in my mind. I really had no idea what the movie was about. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, to come into one of the most realistic and suspensful tales I’ve seen in a long, long time.

This was, to me, horrifying. Not like how a tale of ghosts might be horrifying, but in a realistic, inescable claustrophobic way. Like being trapped behind a group of cars in the desert, knowing the really bad guys with big guns are closing in on you. Where the hell do you go? Fear and tension grip your chest in these situations. There were a lot of moments like that in this film. A lot of moments where I found my stomach in knots with anticipation and anxiety. And I had to face it alone, since my wife was asleep on my lap.

As I said before, Javier Bardem played his part to a point where I don’t really have a lot of like for him in real life. This being the first movie I’ve seen with him, he made a bad impression for me. Which is to say he executed his part perfectly. A psychopathic, methodical killer who has no remorse and no respect for human life. And perhaps the creepiest looking son of a gun I’ve ever seen in a movie. Across from him though, was the brilliance of Josh Brolin.

He plays a tough country boy who fearlessly pursues what he believes is right, and constantly stays one step ahead of his pursuit. Very streetwise and believable, and just a damn fine performance all around. I was sufficiently impressed. Tommy Lee Jones was better than ever, and actually, for once, played a nice guy. He was smart-assed as always, but actually friendly to the others for a change. Even Kelly MacDonald – whom I’ve only seen thus far in Trainspotting (and what a nice view that was, by the way) – was comfortably believable.

I had a good time with this movie. I’ll definitely be watching it again. It was spooky in all the right ways, and hit close enough to home to leave you wanting to make sure your doors are locked one more time… for all the good it will do.





One Response

  • Haycomet says:

    Honestly, I had no desire to see this movie. It didn’t sound like something that would hold my attention. After reading your review, now I want to see it. Thanks!