Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Overlooked Movies: Next of Kin

Here's a little bit of hillbilly noir that I'd hoped was going to be the equal of the classic Roadhouse.  It didn't quite measure up, but then what could?  This time, Patrick Swayze is a Chicago cop, but he as born and bred in Appalachia.  His family still lives in the mountains, but when his brother (Bill Paxton) loses his job at the coal mine Swayze gets him to look for work in Chi-town.  Paxton gets killed in a mob hijacking, and the other brother in the family, Liam Neeson, wants a blood feud.  Swayze, being a cop, won't have any part of it.  He's going to find the killer the right way.  Like that's ever worked in any movie you've ever seen.

Neeson goes to Chicago, explains The Code of the Hills to the mob chief: Give up the killer (the mob chief's nephew), and all will be okay.  It's an offer the MC can refuse.  Swayze finds out that the MC's son (Ben Stiller; yes, that Ben Stiller) is an eyewitness to the murder, but Stiller is tortured and killed before he gives out any info.  Then Neeson gets killed.  Swayze quits the cops and goes after the killer on his own.

But not to worry. The clan back in the hills finds out what's going on and heads for Chicago.  It's the mob versus the hillbillies, and I'll bet you can guess who wins.

Not a bad movie, but not as good as it could've been.  The pacing's off, or so it seems to me, and the movie slows down at times.  However, if you've ever wanted to see Ben Stiller get what's coming to him, you'll definitely want to see it.


pattinase (abbott) said...

That last line sold me.

James Reasoner said...

This movie always reminded me of one of Louis L'Amour's Sackett novels, transplanted to contemporary times.

Louis XIV, "The Sun King" (Nick Jones) said...

Decent film, but not, as you correctly note, Bill, the equal of the brilliantly ludicrous Road House.

Anonymous said...

Me too, Patti.

I don't see how it could beat ROADHOUSE, however, a true classic. I was just thinking about Ben Gazzara's truck the other day.