I find it very surprising that this film has not been given more attention over here in the UK. An all star cast, a director whose last film brought in Oscars and a long list of producers that include Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio. Yet, the film has had very little coverage, and although only came out in the UK this Wednesday, the film has been relegated to only being shown in studio cinema screens, and in the showing I was in today there was only two other people and myself.
A raw, and emotional revenge film, Out of the Furnace, set in a small American town, tells the story of Russell Baze, a working class man, who when his brother goes missing and the police don’t act fast enough, decides to step in himself.
The performances in this film are all very good. The directing is also, very good. The contrasting shots throughout and visual metaphors are all very clever and executed to a high standard. The film is very emotional in places (so take your tissues). However, the film just doesn’t quite deliver what it could have been.
The length of this film doesn’t do it any favours, running at just under two hours, it does start to drag a little bit. The film is relatively slow by its very nature, which is not necessarily a bad thing, with a very well used score, builds tension and peaks interest. Although during the less emotional times it does start to feel a little sluggish.
Christian Bale shows yet again his acting range with a deep performance as Russell. Nothing ever goes right for him, and all he tries to do is look out for his family. Casey Affleck swings in and out as Russell’s brother Rodney, at times he is fantastic, but at others he is unbelievable and lacklustre. Although whenever he is alongside Bale, that is when he really shines. The chemistry between the two is very high, and they come across as very believable brothers. Supporting roles from Willem Dafoe, Forrest Whitaker and Zoe Saldana contribute heavily to the progression of the story, and a particular scene between Bale and Saldana is perhaps the standout moment as it is the film at it’s rawest, and in my opinion most emotional. Woody Harrelson is particularly menacing throughout and the perfect villain to hate.
The story isn’t feel good to say the very least. From the very kick-off this film has a dark mood, which never picks up in the following two hours. This review has been relatively short as I don’t wish to reveal any spoilers, and although not as good as it could have been, this is very watchable, and has plenty of standout emotional moments, it is worth watching. I do suspect that this film will struggle in the UK due to lack of attention it has been given, but I recommend giving it a try for the raw performances alone.