Arkansas [2020]

Country:  USA
Genre:Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rating:6.0  Rate
Collection:  Seen It     Wishlist 
Community: 1 Has Seen

DirectorClark Duke
Selected CastLiam Hemsworth as Kyle
 Clark Duke as Swin
 Michael Kenneth Williams as Almond
 Vivica A. Fox as Her
 John Malkovich as Bright
 Vince Vaughn as Frog


Comments and Reviews
Magic Marmalade
22nd Jul 2023
 The more I think about it, the more I think this movie could benefit from a re-cut, and restructure...

...If you did away with the chapter headings, re-dispersed some of the earlier and later scenes elsewhere, so as to create a mystery / reveal element into it, in such a way as you were not really sure what was going on until something revealed earlier in it's present form was shown later, I think this would sharpen up the story-telling, bring focus to it, centre the movie around Vince Vaughn big performance, and also make the other two primary characters more impactful.

As it is, I think director Clark Duke has been a little too slavish to the Tarantino style, at the expense of something great entirely of his own.

Magic Marmalade
14th Jul 2023
 Rated 6/10
There's a real movie here!...

...Somewhere... I think.

Largely, an attempt at a kind of Tarantino movie (Chapter headings, among other indicators) - crossed with a languid, quirky indie flick aesthetic... Which proves to be too grand in it's production for the latter, but too light for the former.

It feels flat, for the most part, and the first section, around Hemsworth and Clark Duke's characters feels tacked on to the Vince Vaughn character section, although they both, eventually converge at the end.

Which is the first real issues with it... there's a "break in play" section later in the movie, where the story telling goes back in time to tell a tale about a couple of other characters, And I found this confusing, as I wasn't aware of an earlier section of the movie being set later than the last
(if you get my drift) until this happened. The Chronology of a bit of back story is not well integrated, or explained.

So structural story issues, and tonal issues (trying to be two types of movie at the same time, and drifting a little into neither and nothing-ness in this regard).

Two hapless nowhere bods becoming embroiled in a down-south drug ring, headed by Vince Vaughn's: "Frog", get stuck in some low level drug ring limbo, while things go wrong around them, jeopardising both their position in this organisation, as well as their lives.

The movie sprawls a bit, goes nowhere fast really, and is a bit disjointed.

However, there are elements of this that make it very worth watching:

Each of the characters, and each of the actors playing them, work very well: Hemsworth is much better than I thought he could be, Duke does his character very convincingly, as does Eden Brolin (yup, a Brolin family member) who seems to me to be a great actress in the making - she's got bags of charisma, very watchable presence - got real potential!... But I don't buy the pairing of these actors, or the characters they play, in that I can't imagine any of these three really having anything to do with each other in reality.

(I have done myself a favour by neglecting to remember John Malkovich is in this movie, because his role / performance = Jeepers! :(

But there's one real ace up this movie's sleeve:

Vince Vaughn.

Holy Mackerel, what a great performance!

Neither a fan, nor... "not a fan", I have to say, he is absolutely mesmerising here, playing a rather callous, cold, low level drug kingpin, of the "legend in his own backyard - population: 5" variety, but it's a very subtle, very understated performance giving just an occasional glimpse, or sense of a broken, and breaking, vulnerable man within.

If you could jettison the other story threads, enlarge his role, and make it about him, this would really be a great movie, as Vaughn can carry it, and hold the room. So much so, that you could probably drop his performance here into a Godfather / Goodfellas scale of story, and it would be equally at home... not out of place at all.

This is Vince Vaughn's movie, and he steals the whole show.

1 person found this review helpful.   ✔︎ Helpful Review?

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