Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Macon Blair's Dwight is the least mechanical avenger in recent memory. Blue Ruin impresses by laying a solid foundation of scenes in which Dwight fails to be The Terminator. Dwight has the same concise thoughts, but he keeps pushing up against reality. In Dwight's world lifted guns aren't plot expedients, they're useless lumps imprisoned in unbreakable clasps. Attempts at self-surgery are, despite gathering all the usual merchandise, complete fiascos.
Blue Ruin is revenge as a series of gauche punchlines. Dwight isn't hard. He hasn't been built to crush. He's a cuddly bushwhacker that builds forts out of dining chairs and trembles in the shadows. Writer-director Jeremy Saulnier doesn't even give him a memorable outfit. He starts in beach rags and ends dressed like an office dork at a party thrown by his boss. Most telling of all are Blair's eyes - they're brown and bovine; bulbous bug eyes set in a face quivering with worry. There's no confidence in him or his ability to accomplish, at critical moments he fumbles or hesitates. Everything about Dwight seems designed to induce anxiety.