'Blue Ruin' Review: How Far Will You Go For Revenge?
Blue Ruin is a taut and tense tale of revenge, with a concise plot that rarely strays from the endgame. Relatively small in scope, Blue Ruin allows for focus on one character and his singular thirst for vengeance. Starring mostly unknown actors, led by Macon Blair's tortured turn as Dwight Evans, the film follows a homeless protagonist, whom decides to exact revenge on the killer of his parents once he discovers the killer is being released from prison.
Following his murder of the killer, his family becomes a target of dead man's family, and he begins his counter-offensive. "I'd forgive you if you were crazy, but you're not. You're weak," Dwight's sister, Sam, proclaims as Dwight explains his revenge fueled killing will lead to ramifications for his family. Dwight is a meek, seemingly lost individual. Throughout the entire film, he rarely speaks, only reacting to the words of others. However, one thing is clear, Dwight is more than willing to risk everything he has, which, admittedly, is nothing other than his life, to protect those he loves. This is an independent film, and the scope of it feels small but never to the detriment of the film. Rather, this allows the film to remain focused on the conflict at hand.
There are some issues with how realistic the premise of this film is, however. For example, Dwight is quite poor at hiding his tracks after his various encounters with members of the killer's family, and the lack of police involvement is passably explained but not necessarily believable. This is more of a superficial complaint than one that affects enjoyment of the film, but it is noticeable. Also, the family hunting down Dwight is portrayed as the most extreme of the redneck, gun-toting stereotype (they hide automatic guns under their sofas).
Despite these minor gripes, Blue Ruin is an excellent revenge thriller with a cast of relatively new and unknown faces. It's refreshing to see a small budget film succeed so immensely showing that massive budgets don't always equate audience enjoyment. Jeremy Saulnier is currently working on Green Room, which we reported on earlier this month, which will feature Patrick Stewart as a skinhead.
Final Say: Watch It.