Out of the Furnace Review

“Heartbroken At These Outstanding Performances That Simply Just Go To Waste In These Drought Of A Screenplay. Let's Just Say I Expected Better From Oscar Nominee, Scott Cooper.”

December 16th, 2013

Recently, I finally set aside some time and watch the film "Out of the Furnace" directed by Scott Cooper. A slow starter and an even lousy finisher. From the film's stunning previews I expected non-stop violence, gritty revenge and characters I could root for. Sure there was violence and some type of gritty revenge - but It did not leave me feeling satisfied. In fact, I found myself rather board at times and only can muster that at the end of the film's duration it was "just ok" which is sad considering all the Oscar potential between not only the cast - but the crew as well. Christian Bale leads the crew, featuring amazing supporting work from Casey Affleck, William DaFoe, Woody Harrleson, Forrest Whitaker, Sam Shepard and Zoe Saldana - wow - look at that cast. Could you honestly ask for a better cast? - no you simply can't. That only was enough to put me in a theater seeing the film - now can the story execute what is amazing cast is capable off? the answer is a sad and resounding "no".

Russel Baze (Bale) and his younger brother Rodney Jr. (Affleck) are posted up in the small desolate town of the economically depressed Rust Belt. Rodney having just returned home from a tour in Iraq - wants more in his life and seeks out bare knuckle boxing in the ruthless rings in the Northeast - a mistake that ultimately cost him everything. Getting caught up with crime lord kingpin Haran DeGroat (Harrelson) - causing Russel to question his own freedom or seek out the justice for his brother.

On Paper and I'm sure even in the script we can attest that, the plot-line is pretty well mangled and put together - but at times a bit slim - slow and well sluggish. I keep pondering to my phone questioning weather or not the film was going to be over - or if there was any sense of a climax approaching. Instead it festers up a quite good premise - to never fully execute the boundaries of its seemingly good potential. I was more or less - lost a drift in the deep southern dialogue - and tone that director Scott Cooper sets for it. Sure there are some great redeeming qualities - but none that can commend me saying this is worth a watch. It's worth watching for the shear fact of all these outstanding performances that are distinguished throughout - something very rare to find in quality films these days.

Aside from the acting. Everything else is kind of lazy. The conclusion is somewhat anti-climatic and while in a sense your leaving with a resolution - you're also leaving with more questions than answers. I like the revenge plot - I really do. They make movies that much more intriguing when there is a sense of retribution that needs to be done. But tragically I was disappointed in the end. Out of the Furnace is a well put together attempt - but severely overstays it's welcome.


By: Nate Adams

Rated: R

Directed By: Scott Cooper

Studio: Relativity Media

Release Date: December 4th

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