Sunday, March 25, 2018

What Doesn't Kill You (2008)

This would have worked for my salute to addiction-related movies. 
Synopsis: Heavy-drinking-and-drug-taking low-IQ family man criminal and his slightly-smarter co-dependent best buddy commit crimes and go to jail. Wait, isn’t this movie essentially a retelling of The Trailer Park Boys without the laughter?
Blurb From the DVD Jacket: “Torn between the desire to be a good husband and the lure of easy money, Brian must make the hardest choice of his life.” 
What Did I Learn?: Five grand is five grand. 
You Might Like This Movie If: You know that if something doesn't kill you, it must make you stronger. 
Really?: 1) Am I wrong in thinking that Amanda Peet was miscast as Stacy Reilly? She’s certainly a talented actress, but maybe a little too thin and attractive to play a woman who would be financially destitute without her father’s assistance. I imagine she she could either find another guy, or a job as a waitress, bartender, or stripper without much difficulty. 2) Those end title cards are a little blunt and obvious for my taste. I’m curious: how does Brian find a job on the loading docks when he has a criminal record? And I realize Paulie (Ethan Hawke) isn’t the centre of the story, but how did he get pinched for the armoured car robbery? 
Rating: What Doesn’t Kill You is a gritty, hard-hitting, and often depressing character-driven drama about a very low-level crook, and his attempts to straighten out his life by getting away from booze and drugs, and reconnecting with his estranged family. WDKY begins with a botched armoured car robbery, but it certainly isn’t an action movie; the dialogue, and some of the aerial shots of snow-covered Boston strangely reminded me of another film about struggling criminals, Straight Out of Brooklyn. Check it out for Mark Ruffalo’s impressive performance as Brian Reilly. 7.5/10 stars.

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