Thursday, December 1, 2011

Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Texas Killing Fields (2011)
Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Genre: Drama
Director: Ami Canaan Mann
Starring: Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jessica Chastain
Language: English
Duration: 105 min.
Rating: 6.0  

Follows Detective Souder, a homicide detective in a small Texan town, and his partner, transplanted NYPD detective Heigh as they track a sadistic serial killer dumping his victims' mutilated bodies in a nearby marsh locals call The Killing Fields.

Texas Killing Fields is a film directed by Ami Canaan Mann, her second effort.  It premiered in competition at the 2011 Venice International Film Festival.

The film is an adaptation of a novel by Don Ferrarone, loosely based on true events.  The unsolved murders of several women whose bodies were dumped in an abandoned oil field in Texas.  It has an excellent cast, a great setting, and an enveloping visual style no doubt influenced by the director's father Michael Mann.  Unfortunately the story plays out like something you would see on a network TV cop show.  Uninspiring, predictable, and lacking any real excitement.

It does start off well, throwing us into the murky mix without any needless exposition.  Building a great atmosphere from the Texan landscapes, and the uneasy interaction between partners Mike Souder (Sam Worthington) and Brian Heigh (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).  However the early tension is squandered by some questionable editing and odd scene choices, and as good as these actors are, they cannot save the mundane script. 

I'm not sure if Mann is a poor director, or if this just wasn't the right material for her.  The dramatic scenes were fine, but the action scenes lacked adrenaline.  At any rate, file this one in the endless pile of forgettable cop movies.

Bonjour Tristesse

Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Texas Killing Fields (2011)

Texas Killing Fields (2011)


Aziza said...

I have it on my computer and I am curious to see how it goes- I mostly got it for Jessica Chastain and Chloe Moretz, so I will give it a try soon; I like crime tv drama!

Hoi-Ming Ng said...

Meh. That could have been one hour long episode of Law and Order.

Knifed in Venice said...

That's disappointing, I've been looking forward to this one.  Thanks for the review.

d_4 said...

Yeah, trailer reminded me of a cop show. Like a season finale or something. And then having you mention it just like that? I'll pass.

Melanie said...

Hmmm...maybe if I have nothing else to watch, I will check it out..but only if...

Jack Deth said...

Hi, Bonjour and company:

Good looking trailer!

May have to see this just for Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Not much of a Worthington fan. Though the story looks solid.

You're invited to drop by Scott's 'Front Room Cinema'. I've done a guest review of The Top Ten Films Based in New York City. I think enjoy my choices.

Michael Parent said...

I'll avoid it then! It looks like the kind of film that bores me very much!

The Angry Lurker said...

Was hoping it was going to be good, the trailer was good.

Beasts in Human Skin said...

Well, from your review I'll avoid the film but I might track down the novel.  Gonna do me some readin'!

FrontRoomCinema said...

Ah that is a shame. Although I dislike Worthington, I do like Morgan... he is a great actor!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Better than Law and Order, but not by much.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Yeah the novel might an interesting read.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I haven't seen Worthington in much, so I don't really have an opinion of him.  Morgan is great though.

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