Ken's Review: No Country for Old Men - Filmmaking At Its Finest
by Ken Evans
November 10, 2007
Anticipation for a certain film can sometimes drive you crazy. I have felt that anticipation twice so far this year. The first time was during the months leading up to Spider-Man 3. The problem with all that anticipation is that it also causes your expectations for that film to be almost unreachable. Unfortunately, even if my expectations had been low, Spider-Man 3 wouldn't have met them and is probably the biggest let down I have ever experienced as far as movies go. The second time I have felt that kind of anticipation this year is in the months leading up to No Country for Old Men. Thankfully, the outcome was much different.
No Country for Old Men is the latest film from the directing duo the Coen Brothers, who happen to be my favorite directors. Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) is your average Joe who stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong in the middle of the barren Texas plains. In the midst of guns and dead bodies, Llewelyn finds a satchel full of two million dollars which he steals, figuring that money will get him and his wife out of the trailer park and into a better life. Enter Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) who is a hit man hired to track down the money and bring it back. Llewelyn realizes that he is being hunted and starts running for his life. Police chief Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is also brought into the mix when all of the dead bodies, left in Anton's path, start to surface.
Forgive my short plot synopsis, but I don't want to spoil any moments that you haven't already seen in the trailer. What I can tell you is that I absolutely loved this film. Any of my friends know how much I was looking foreword to this film and all of my anticipation and expectations were met if not exceeded. The directing, acting performances, cinematography, soundtrack, and story were all top notch and beyond exceptional. If I could have turned around and walked back into the theater to watch it again I would have. Unfortunately I have to wait until it's actually released in theaters.
Javier Bardem, who I had never seen before, was out of this world amazingly evil. I mean seriously, this guy will go down in history as the most evil, creepy guy in any film ever. He dons some kind of pressurized air gun and a silenced shotgun killing people without the slightest emotion. As evil as this guy is you can't help but think his character is cool, and as much as you want him dead, you also want to see him take as much screen time as possible and do his thing. I'm not going to lie to you, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin had outstanding, possibly even Oscar worthy, performances, but Javier Bardem is who you come out of the theater remembering.
Like I said earlier the Coen Brothers are my favorite directors. They both wrote and directed No Country for Old Men and just like all of their other films, they have made a masterpiece. The Coens, besides having a knack for writing and directing, have the ability to inspire incredible performances out of actors and actresses alike. Although I never thought the Coens lost it, I even loved The Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty, No Country for Old Men reminds me most of their earlier work in films like Fargo, Miller's Crossing, and Blood Simple.
If No Country for Old Men is already playing in your area then definitely put this at the top of your list. If you have to drive to another town to see it then do that. If you have been anticipating this film as much as I was then I promise it won't only meet your expectations, but will exceed them. This is not only the Coen Brothers at the top of their game, but it is filmmaking at its absolute finest.