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Coastlines (Unrated)

Release Date: May 31st, 2006 (IFC Center) by IFC Films.
The Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Josh Brolin, Sarah Wynter, Scott Wilson, William Forsythe Angela Bettis, Josh Lucas, Robert Wisdom, Daniel von Bargen, Blake Lindsley.
Directed by Victor Nuñez.

BASIC PREMISE: When Sonny (Olyphant), an ex-convict, returns to his Florida hometown, he rekindles a romance with his married friend Ann (Wynter) and gets revenge on two drug lords who owe him money.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Coastlines goes back and forth between two conflicts, but doesn’t generate enough dramatic tension until the end of the second act. In the first act, Sonny, fresh out of jail, upsets Dave (Brolin) when he flirts with his wife, Ann. Dave suspects that he still poses a physical threat to the town, but lacks the evidence to throw him back in jail. Meanwhile, drug lords Fred (Forsythe) and Eddie (Lucas), can’t pay him the money they owe, so they blow up Sonny’s house, but only manage to kill his father. Now, Sonny wants to get revenge. Timothy Olyphant gives a great performance in the complex role of Sonny as his charisma gradually wanes throughout the second act. His romance with Ann does feel a bit contrived, but does get her husband, Dave, furious. Writer/director Victor Nuñez maintains a breezy, steady pacing without feeling too slow and allows many scenes to breathe with the breath-taking scenery of Northern Florida. Much of the dialogue feels natural, but an unrealistic, awkward action sequence at the end of the second act diminishes any realistic feeling. Ultimately, Nuñez creates a film that’s light on real dramatic tension and memorable characters, but heavy on atmosphere with beautiful cinematography and a well-chosen musical score.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: An implausible action sequence in the later part of the second act.


IN A NUTSHELL: Atmospheric and well-acted, but not enough dramatic tension.


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