Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

29 March 2008

Bone Dry, dir. Brett A. Hart (2007)

NIKKI says:
And still I keep trusting the opinions of my video store public. This, they told me, was great. Actually, it's the lowest-grade kind of schlock out there. It looks terrible, the script is embarrassing, and the director clearly fashioned his brand of suspense off a Rice Bubbles box.

What will the treasure inside be? Oh, look, it's something plastic and lame!

Lance Henriksen plays a man stalking another man in the desert in sort of a Hitcher-esque way. Only Lance drugs his guy (played by the cute twin from Bros, Luke Goss) and puts him in horrible Saw-like situations he must the get out of. He cuffs him to a cactus, buries him up to his neck, makes him drink salt water, that sort thing.

Now, my problem with this movie was that we never knew why Lance was torturing Luke. Turns out, maybe Lance isn't the bad guy. Wow, how long did it take you to guess that? So, why then does Luke shout at one point: "Why are you doing this?!" to the sky like Jennifer Love Hewitt does in I Know What You Did Last Summer? Considering his line of work, he'd pretty much have a fair guess why someone would want revenge. Especially revenge this sticky.

So, the flaws mount up. Luke, who's balding, should have a burned head by about the third hour of his capture. He should be that worn down from dehydration, too. None of it makes sense. Don't try to figure it out, it's impossible. Just rent something else. Like Hot Rod.


STEVE says:
Bone Dry ("A Brett A. Hart Vision" as we're oh-so-pompously informed in the credits) was infuriating, no question about it. The grab on the packet assured me that it was a cross between Duel and Deliverance, which would have been great if it had been true. Instead, I found it to be yet another take on the Saw/Hostel school of filmmaking where the audience is subjected to various scenes of torture that do nothing to advance the story. Or "story" as is the case here, because it doesn't even come into play until the last act, almost as an afterthought, so let's add "bad screenwriting" to Bone Dry's list of offenses, as well.

We're supposed to believe that Lance Henriksen is the Bad Guy from the beginning, the way we're introduced to him in the diner. Fine. He's already Lance Henriksen, that's the baggage he carries, so I buy him as the Bad Guy. But when he's subsequently shown only in silhouette, from behind, or with binoculars obscuring his face for the next half-hour, the mystery of the character is undercut because He's Already Lance Henriksen.

There's nothing in the way of development for either Henriksen's or Luke Goss's characters, just the stereotypical Good Guy/Bad Guy bullshit - and we only get that because Goss is the one being tortured, he must be the Good Guy and Henriksen the John Ryder-esque psychotic Bad Guy. But when the reveal comes in the third act, we're way ahead of the movie because we've been filling in the blanks on our own for the last hour and fifteen minutes.

Problem here is, the reveal should have been made at midpoint. That's the point of midpoint - it reverses the action ("You thought Henriksen was the bad guy, but no!), and keeps the second act from getting dull. As it is, our midpoint was meeting up with a fella named Marty. The only thing this reverses is the fact that Goss is alone, but when Marty is killed ten minutes later, this negates the reversal - thereby negating the midpoint altogether.

This movie sucked. It will, however, appeal to fans of the Saw and Hostel films - people who don't care much for story and wouldn't know a plot hole if they fell head-first into one. If this was Hart's vision - and one has to assume that it was because he served as Bone Dry's writer, director, producer and editor - it's myopic at best.


No comments: