They are the far-right, but if you ask
them, they will admit they are really the ultra-left. At least they are
self-aware. They also appreciate hardcore rock and punk. Playing a hate-rock
palooza will give a hipster punk band enough gas money to get home, but all
bets are off when they witness a murder in Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room (trailer here), which
screens during the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Pat’s band the “Ain’t Rights” was booked
by a college presenter right before he lost his regular programming night. To
make it up to them, he arranges a spot on the bill at a backwoods Aryan club
through his rather intense cousin. If they stick to their early stuff and avoid
politics, the band should be fine. However, when they walk into a drug-related
murder, they suddenly find themselves in a stand-off with the Neo-National
Fortunately, the lead singer knows his
mixed martial arts, but they are still woefully outgunned. They will also be
outclassed in terms of tactics and strategy when the club’s mysterious owner Darcy
Banker takes charge of the green room siege. The victim’s friend Amber is not
much help either, at least at first. However, when the chips are really, really
down, she just might have more fight in her than the punk rockers.
Although not quite as stylish and
satisfying as his debut, Blue Ruin,
Saulnier certainly does not shy away from carnage this time around. This is not
a film for Hallmark Channel viewers, especially considering the explicit ways
Banker’s Black Shirts use attack dogs as weapons. Saulnier creates a real claustrophobic
sense of place in the skinhead club, stage-managing the successive attacks
Anton Yelchin sure works a lot. He is fine
as Pat the nebbish bassist, but it is not a showy or particularly memorable role.
On the other hand, Alia Shawkat’s regular, standard issue sarcastic Daria-esque
persona fits Sam the lead guitarist like a glove. To her credit, an
unrecognizable Imogen Poots manages to scratch a bit of a character development
arc as Amber. However, all the attention will be focused on Patrick Stewart’s
spectacularly villainous turn as calmly ruthless Banker.
you like hardcore punk and blood splatter than Green Room is the film for you. Somehow, Saulnier makes violence,
hate groups, and the state of Oregon a good deal of fun. Recommended for fans
of slyly subversive thrillers with high body counts, Green Room screens again today (1/25) and tomorrow (1/26) in Park
City, as part of this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Labels: Jeremy Saulnier, Patrick Stewart, Sundance '16