Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Baytown Outlaws


  Every so often, a movie comes along, out of the blue- one that you did not know about -and completely surprises you. The Baytown Outlaws, is one of those movies. I hadn't seen a poster, a trailer, nor a single shred of news about this little gem until this same day. (Well... technically yesterday, but I'm a night owl so, that's how it is.) I got my hands on it pronto and watched it straightaway, and boy am I glad I saw it.

  I'll pretty much flock to any bloodbath of a movie with grizzled good guys, vile bad guys, and loads of big guns between them.  And... that is what The Baytown Outlaws is. However, it is also more...
I'll say right now, this movie has heart. It was entirely unexpected, because it could've been perfectly enjoyable without any emotions to it too. Only because it's that type of movie. It could've been a soulless wrecking ball of southern catastrophe without a single thoughtful moment in sight, so long as it was fast, bloody, and not bullshitty (we'll get to "bullshitty" in a bit). However, what's wonderful about this flick, is that it decides to grow a heart halfway through.

  Which in some more unfortunate cases can ruin a movie. Not that heart itself can ruin a movie, but when a ballsy gritty action flick, turns on a dime and the mood and tone and everything shift dramatically... it can be more than jarring. It can alienate your audience.

  Fortunately, the tone shift in this movie was well worked up to and actually adds to the proceedings rather than jarringly alter or detract from them. The enjoyment factor of this flick is not hampered by the emotional turn it takes in the third act. Mind you, it's not like... tear jerking emotions, but it's more heart and story than a movie like this could be expected to have. It's so effective too, it's awesome.  Now, about how a movie like this can be bullshitty; it's like when... you have good action, but it's marred by shaky camera work. Or good action pared with a story so stupid it's beyond redemption. Or when the premise promises lots of action and shooting and you get... nearly none. (see: Max Payne)
That's "bullshitty", and this movie ain't it.

  Cutting to the chase, this little caper is about these three redneck, mercenary brothers hired by a lady to rescue her son from her evil drug dealer ex-husband. Firstly, that's a great setup. No matter who you are, or where you're from- that sounds like an ass-kicking good time. Secondly, the brothers have a fantastic on-screen dynamic and their chemistry is wonderful. Which is why I also have ease in comparing it to The Boondock Saints. Another hyper-violent vigilante movie with brothers as protagonists.  The differences are endless, but I'm reflecting mostly on the brothers' dynamic and chemistry. Both movies have it in spades. Say what you will about the Saints, but Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus were awesome together.

  Just like the dudes in this flick. Awesome. Awesome. I love watching them do their thing, with a franchise's worth of potential in-jokes and unique quirks, this trio of redneck badasses single-(or should I say triple?)-handedly made the movie for me. As badass and strapped to the teeth with guns as they are, there's also something endearing about them. They're certainly not the creepy kind of bayou recluses that only come out of hibernation to kill things and intimidate people. They're brothers, and they act like it. They have personalities, not thousand yard stares.

  All this and what seems like a -total- lack of cgi, and you've got a winner. The shootouts are intense and bloody, the movie is a big ball of bullet-riddled fun, and there's not too much to complain about. I'm outright shocked this hasn't gotten more attention. Or maybe it has and I'm the recluse. Who knows. Either way, I recommend it. Fully.

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