Sunday, February 7, 2010

What Doesn't Kill You

Brian Goodman has been a South Boston thug all his life. He’s the kind of guy who feels more at home holding someone up at gunpoint than he does spending time with his wife and kids. He runs poker games, pulls heists and, eventually, gets wholeheartedly hooked on cocaine. His life is falling apart and seems to reach it’s lowest low when he is shot three times when stumbling his way home from a bar only to be busted by the police during a TV truck heist just a couple days later. He spends the next five years in prison thinking about his life. He happens to be in there with his best friend/fellow thug and his crime boss, so it’s not like he’s spending those years in thoughtful meditation about the honest life on the outside. Instead he’s given a chance to really think about his life, both sides of the coin, and once those five years are up he has a choice to make: stay sober and become an honest family man or go back to the school of hard living.

This is a true story and the movie is actually written, produced and directed by Brian himself. This can sometimes lead to a movie with good intentions but not enough good execution. This isn’t that. This movie feels effortless and straight from the heart. Just about every moment feels very genuine and natural. The writing is good, the story is engaging and the performances are really great. I think this is my favorite Ethan Hawke (the best friend) performance of all time; he truly seems like a scumbag many of us have met before. This movie had practically zero boxoffice presence, so seek it out, find it, rent it and enjoy it. It flew under the radar and really shouldn’t have. See it.


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