Straw Dogs (DVD)

 
Format DVD
Genre Unknown
RRP -
Release Date 12/03/2012
Best Prices
Product Description

Forty years after Sam Peckinpah's hugely controversial 1971 original, Rod Lurie adapted and directed a new version of Straw Dogs, with a very deliberate change of location and an updating of the social context. Instead of being set in Britain, the story now takes place in small-town Mississippi, where Hollywood screenwriter David Sumner (James Marsden) is moving with his wife Amy (Kate Bosworth). She grew up in Blackwater, which she aptly refers to as "backwater," but has since become a much-desired TV actress. In their isolated house, David will write while Amy's ex-beau (Alexander Skarsgård) repairs the adjacent barn with his redneck buddies. In drawing the unease between this effete, conflict-averse intellectual and the swaggering, flag-waving, God-fearing locals, Lurie (The Contender) seems to be aiming at the hostility between red state/blue state America in 2011. But the movie breaks down when it gets to the sadistic plot turns that lead to the savage finale, a siege in which David is pushed to his primal self. In the Peckinpah film, this was a hellish and ambiguous exorcism, but here the events just seem ugly, and the movie loses control of its perspective about halfway through. James Marsden is a game actor, but he can't be as convincing a bookworm as Dustin Hoffman was in the original film. Kate Bosworth's ambivalence is the most interesting thing at play here, as she suggests the marriage might have been less than perfect all along. That subtle discontent is more intriguing than the movie's lurid collapse into ultraviolence. --Robert Horton

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