Southern thrillers are somewhat of a favorite among movie fans. From the brilliant In the Heat of the Night to Deliverance and Southern Comfort to A Time to Kill and Cape Fear, the American South has always been an intriguing setting for disturbing goings on. The new film Bad Country brings some of the best character actors together for another story of crime in the South.
Baton Rouge police detective Bud Carter (Willem Dafoe) has just busted a contract killer he has been after named Jesse Weiland (Matt Dillon). But Weiland isn’t the ultimate prize. Carter is actually after Lutin (Tom Berenger), the South’s most notorious crime boss. Weiland agrees to go back to work for Lutin as an informant for Carter but there is much more at stake than a prison sentence when Lutin orders hits on both men.
Bad Country, while not being a film that blew my socks off, is still a worthwhile thriller worth checking out and will fill that Sunday afternoon activity gap quite well. The story is solid with great performances all around, especially by Dafoe and Berenger. Berenger only pops up once in a while in movies nowadays but when he does we are reminded what a great screen presence he really has. Here he is all Louisiana slime with his fancy hats and slick drawl. I really wish we could see him in more substantial roles and this film just made me want to go and seek out some of his 80s thrillers like Someone to Watch Over Me and Shoot to Kill. The action is spread out throughout the film but when it hits it is tense and entertaining. The Southern setting is appropriately sweaty and dark and director Chris Brinker, who was a producer on the Boondock Saints films, does a great job in debut in the director’s chair. Overall a cool little thriller that is sure to entertain.
The Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is sharp and detailed and holds its quality right through the numerous dark scenes. A solid transfer for a smaller film, Bad Country is a nice little gem in the rough.
Available Now on Blu-ray and DVD.