Saturday, February 18, 2017

Cut to the Chase: Louisiana Murder and Poetry

The weakest part of Cut to the Chase, a 90-minute Louisiana noir movie about an ex-con searching for his missing beloved younger sister, who is also his lawyer, is at the beginning, where there's a little too much humor for my taste in this kind of movie.  But even that part's pretty good.

And the movie moves into high gear after that, and manages to build to a smashing crescendo with even some ambiguity in the ending, no mean feat and even memorable, the more that I think about it.

Along the way, Cut to the Chase  develops into a first-class whodunit - the "it" being who did what to the sister. As is often the case in these movies, there's no shortage of miscreants, villains, and killers, which means there are all kinds of plausible suspects.   Max Chase - played by Blayne Weaver, who also wrote and directed - makes a fine, behind-the-eight-ball brother and de facto detective, and the plot is tightly enough spun that we and he have no idea who the ultimate villain is, which makes the ending surprising in addition to slashing.

Speaking of which, there's a kind of poetry in a lot of this, as befits the genre, and it goes beyond the play on words between the title and name of the main character.  In fact, there's a play on the first word and what happens in the movie, too, as well as a visual mistiness, a darkish bayou watercolor, that spills into and over scenes when you expect it and don't.

All of which is to say - check out Cut to the Chase.   It's not Hitchcock or Body Heat, but it has something of those classics, won in some regional film festivals, and is much welcome on the screen - where it's coming in theaters on March 7,


a different kind of noir
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