Whiskey Bay AKA Bad Country directed by the late Chris Brinker who passed away during post production on this film, the producer of The Boondock Saints this is his directorial debut. Bad Country is an inspired by real events gritty Louisiana crime drama which stars Matt Dillon, Willem Dafoe, Neal McDonough, Amy Smart and Tom Berenger.
In this 80’s set action movie Dafoe plays Bud Carter a Louisiana cop who stands by Jesse Weiland (Matt Dillon) a racist Aryan Brotherhood contract killer and convinces him to turn states evidence to protect his wife (Amy Smart) and newborn child against an organised crime syndicate lead by Lutin Adams (Tom Berenger)
Bad Country has a very nostalgic old school 70’s-80’s crime drama feel about it from the clothes some nice suave pin striped suits and the southern noir hats to the many moustaches making it a suitable tribute. You can tell quite early on the sort of film you’re going to get with fights, explosions, shoot outs, betrayal and shifting allegiances knowing this however doesn’t take anything away from the film itself its well made, well shot and nicely written.
Dafoe and Dillon are strong as protagonists while Berenger is a more than adequate villain of the piece, with its racism, betrayal and corruption in the bayou, and given the past that the south particularly Louisiana had and even has with racism I feel they could have made bit more of a statement about that instead of just the odd racist remark and Aryan Brotherhood. The scenes are fairly tame until they have their first “sting” which predictably goes belly-up then Berenger gets properly involved and goes on the warpath after he has suspicions, the action scenes ensue from there with a rise of ammunition, explosions and body count.
Overall I think Bad Country is an average film though it had tension it’s not overly gripping or suspenseful, the writing isn’t riveting but does its job, some of the cast seem to me to be a bit hit and miss but Dafoe and Dillon make up for that, the film has good costume designs apropos facial hair and moody music which make for a good watch.
Gavin Tones | [rating=3]
Crime, Drama | USA, 2014 | 15 |10th March 2014 (UK) |Sony Home Entertainment | Dir:Chris Brinker |Amy Smart, Neal McDonough, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, Neal McDonagh |Buy: Bad Country [DVD]