(First word to rhyme with 'give')
After directing and appearing in the extraordinarily impressive 'Argo' of 2012 Ben Afffeck must have thought he could walk on water. Well, this one (in which he's main star, screenplay writer and director again) proves his mortality. Although far from being a turkey it does beckon in that direction. Ennui started setting in within minutes of the opening despite our being presented with a miscellany of gangster shootings, inevitably including one victim in a barber's chair. 'The Godfather' this is not.
I can't give a cohesive summary of the story because I'm not entirely sure what it was. It's set in 1920s Prohibition-era, Tampa, Florida where Affleck arrives to do some pushing around (including assassinations of 'inconvenient' characters) with shady clientele, among whom are police, law officials and property developers, all of which are drowning in corruption. While popping off sundry persons who get in the way, he's got to deal with the K.K.K. who are not too keen on his relationship with the dark-skinned Zoe Saldana with whom he has a son. Add to the mix a generous dose of Evangelicism with strongly anti-Catholic and anti-Jewish sentiments, as well as heroin use, this all ought to have contributed to a heady concoction with, potentially, gripping results. However, notwithstanding that and even with the multiple shootings it's all a fairly dull affair.
Among the cast is the ever-reliable Chris Cooper, and he is one of the film's best features. I was looking forward even more to the formidable screen presence of Brendan Gleason as Affleck's father, though he's gone for good after just thirty minutes.
The film with colours muted down, is shot in sepia or near monochrome, which gives it some of the atmosphere of the time. The exterior scenes in the city are large-scale and remarkably good to look at, but all comes to little in the film's larger context.
As I say at the outset, the film is not so much a turkey, it's closer to being a curate's egg. One felt it really should have been so much better, more exciting - but I actually yawned more than once! In summary, I'll be kind...................5.5.
43 minutes ago