An ex-logger comes to the aid of a woman who returns to her hometown in the Pacific Northwest and finds herself harassed and stalked by a former cop turned crime lord.
“You’re probably just a bad dad.”
It was clear that this community consisted of seasoned loggers in checkered winter coats. Such a closed society where strangers are looked at in suspicion and where they react quite aggressively when too much prying questions are asked. Even if those questions are asked by like-minded souls. I still don’t understand why these roughnecks and frightening trappers fear one individual. By joining forces (and it’s not even necessary that the whole loggers federation gather, when you look at their torso) they would have felled, subsequently chopped and removed Blackway (Ray Liotta) without too many problems. Forget it. The man seems to be the devil himself. That’s why all these tough guys hide in their safe block huts, I guess.
Fortunately for Lillian (Julia Stiles), there are two helpful scouts members who aren’t easily intimidated and run away swiftly when it gets dangerous. If you compare their figure with the other typical tree sawyers, it seems more like a suicide mission. On the one hand there’s the old, tough ex-lumberman Lester (Anthony Hopkins), who’s apparently on a revenge-mission when it’s about Blackway and without thinking he gets his moose rifle. And secondly there’s the stuttering, shy Nate (Alexander Ludwig) who actually has no idea why he’s joining this willingly. I was wondering about the same thing. The three of them start their mission to find Blackway and to make clear to him that he should leave Lillian alone. Indeed, that is the ultimate starting point of the whole story. Finding the former policeman Blackway who has worked his way up to the status of local badass. The one everybody’s afraid of (even the local police) and who’s stalking Lillian. A simple storyline for a simple movie. “Finding Blackway” instead of Dory.
Ultimately, this was just an average film. You’ll see the three protagonists on their quest and ending in a not so very original denouement. Along the way we get the mandatory fights and skirmishes with Nate grimly throwing himself into the battles. At least he’s useful when doing this. Lester limits himself to cold-blooded dialogues and demonstratively waving his wrapped gun. Blackway behaves as a moose being hunted down. As expected. Sir Hopkins remains a brilliant actor. It’s a pleasure to watch him acting even though his contribution is limited to glassy and absent staring. However, the whole time I had the impression that I was watching a nature documentary with Hannibal Lecter in it. A kind of “Silence of the woods“. Lillian remained faithful to her role as victim. Although I’m sure she was already sorry of not taking the advice (endlessly repeated by the inhabitants) after a while.
All in all it wasn’t a memorable movie. Despite the splendor images and the right atmosphere, it was all rather mediocre. And even the presence of Hopkins couldn’t resolve this. The reputation of Blackway looked like that of Candyman. His name was pronounced every five minutes (awe-struck and full of fear) so I got the feeling he could appear any moment somewhere out of a dark corner. A corner filled with pine scent of course.