Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sling Blade - The Director's Cut

Sling Blade (1996)

Directed by Billy Bob Thornton

Screenplay by  Billy Bob Thornton

Based on his play of the same name

Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Lucas Black, John Ritter, Natalie Canerday, Dwight Yoakum, James Hampton and Robert Duvall

This movie has singlehandedly solidified Billy Bob Thornton's career as it introduced audiences to an undeniable character of Karl with his simple nature and his sniff upper lip. Awesome. BBT won the Oscar for adapting his play -- which I didn't know -- to the big screen. The movie has the making of a great film, but it has flaws.

Karl Childers (Thornton) is a mentally challenged man that is being released from the mental institution that he spent the last twenty years in for killing his mother and her lover. After he is released, Karl feels lost in the town that he grew up. The director of the institution Jerry Woolridge (Hampton) sets Karl up with a job at an auto repair shop. Karl becomes friends with a boy, Frank Wheatley (Black). Frank wants Karl to live with him, his mother Linda (Canerday) and her abusive boyfriend, Doyle (Yoakum).

I am not gonna bash this movie. I am not going to do that. That being said, the movie felt disconnected to me. BBT was fantastic in the movie. He was unrecognizable in the role. The biggest problem I had with this movie was the pacing. It was a huge problem, because I was engaged with that monologues that Karl was retelling about his past. There are some instances that the momentum grind to a halt and my attention waned. It seriously did.

I wanted to love this movie, but the pacing was its biggest downfall.

My Rating

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