Bad Country (Blu-ray)

May 5, 2014 5 Min Read

Review by: Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

Bad Country is a fact-based movie set in 1983 in Louisiana about a detective who brings down a powerful drug organization and then needs the help of the very man he brought down. Willem Dafoe plays Detective Bud Carter. He has his way of doing things and after he takes down Jesse Weiland (Matt Dillon), Carter convinces him to go undercover and become an informant. Jesse’s only other choice is to do some serious jail time (potentially 200 years). With a pregnant wife and the fear of not being there for his family, he decides to do it. This all sounds like a solid plot, but the fact that the film provides so little entertainment value was both, a shock and a bit expected. It features a nice cast and could’ve provided a nice, smaller film with a noirish feel, but sadly, it stays stuck in neutral most of the time. The film is riddled with cliches and corny dialogue in almost every scene. Dafoe’s character does nothing more than walk around scowling the whole time. His character feels like a leftover stock character from several other run-of-the-mill action flicks. He’s routine and he doesn’t want any outside involvement from the F.B.I. The Matt Dillon character fares about the same. There could’ve been so much done with him and his fear of being undercover, but no such luck. We do learn that he has a brother who also shares a life of crime, but that’s about as deep as the character development goes. The film does have its share of action scenes, but I doubt many will care what happens either way. When you’re not invested in the characters it can become hard to get invested in anything else.

Director Chris Brinker passed away while the film was in Post-Production, but I doubt the final result would’ve felt much different. The film does have a nice look to it which appropriately recreates the early 1980’s, but sadly, not much else. The direction is flat, action scenes dull and just rather boring overall. It’s too serious to have a campy, B-Movie feel and too generic to do much else. There are scenes with bullets being shot, characters yelling at one another, but I got to the point where I just simply didn’t care. I have to wonder why the actors found any of this interesting to begin with. I just can’t find much of anything seen here to recommend. I wouldn’t mind learning more of the actual story on which the film is based, surely it’s more interesting than anything seen here. At least the film looks great in HD, but that’s about the most praise I can muster for this. Skip it.

Video: How’s it look?

The film sucks, but at least it looks great. Right from the opening moments we can see the strong detail. Much of it takes place in swampy backwater locations and they do becomes pleasing to the eyes. The wrinkles in Dafoe’s face are heightened here as well as features on some of the other actor’s faces. Colors, while not overly flashy do show up strong here. We can see dents and imperfections on several of the vehicles as well as chips on some of the interiors in buildings as well other little details. The image is AVC encoded with a 1.78:1 ratio.

Audio: How’s it sound?

The DTS HD track is a nice one that presents the film appropriately. Vocals were nice and clear. The action scenes showed strong range and never appeared limited in any way. Since this takes place in the woods, expect to hear plenty of insects and buzzing from the rear channels. You’ll likely hear more robust tracks, but this is certainly not lacking and accompanies the film about as well as it should. No worries here.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Taking down an empire: On the set – This is a pretty standard behind the scenes look that offers the usual notes. It does provide a few nice notes, but nothing too deep.
  • Previews

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