December 16, 2013

What Could Make Out of The Furnace Better

  Out of the Furnace delivered phenomenal acting, but the story was too dark and depressing to handle. So, what could make this film better?


1.  Can You Give Us A Little Bit of Happiness or Hope

     This movie is depressing. Christian Bale's, Baze has no glimmer of hope in his future. He goes to jail, he loses his girlfriend to the town sheriff, he loses his father to cancer, he loses his brother to a doped-up hillbilly, he loses friends, and then he decides to give everything up in the end. Everything that happens makes sense in this world. Scott Cooper created a very real universe in his real, but a very depressingly real universe. If I had lost everything like Bale did, I probably would have killed Harrelson's, DeGroat too. This movie doesn't work because it's too depressing. Sure, there are great characters, interesting action sequences, and an overall interesting premise, but the audience is going to walk out of this film feeling like crap. I didn't feel happy after this. I was sad most of the day due to this film. Maybe give the audience some hope near the end of the film. Bale could have let Harrelson go to jail for his crimes. I would have been okay with that. Maybe, even show Bale living a better life after his choice.

2.  Give Us a Better Villain and Bring Light To Secondary Characters

    Harrelson's villain was just there to cause havoc. Nothing more. Sure, he was crazy, but what made him so crazy? Because this was Christian Bale's film, other characters, like Harrelson, were lost to the realm of one-dimension. Harrelson was terrifying, but there should have been more to his character. In a two hour film, he didn't have much dialogue. His actions were meant to define him and they did so to a certain point. In the end, dialogue can define a character more so than actions.

    Some characters, i.e. Forest Whittaker's Sheriff Barnes and Sam Shepherd's Red, were never well developed. These two characters were prominent in Baze's life. However, Red disappeared after the second act of the film, and I couldn't care for Barnes's words in the finale. In the finale, Baze hunts DeGroat through an empty mill and into a field. Baze aims his rifle at a wounded DeGroat who tries limping away. Out of nowhere, Sheriff Barnes shows up and tries convincing Baze to put the gun down. Baze fires and kills DeGroat. Besides the intensity that Bale and Harrelson brought to the screen, Whittaker's words were lost. Sheriff Barnes was shoehorned into the movie as a morale compass, but it was never developed. Whittaker needed more scenes to make his character believable. 

3.  Give Us a Little Backstory on Some Things and Expand

   Does Harrelson reign terror down on people because he likes to watch the world burn? Probably not. He was never given a reason. Harrelson just did things because that's what the script said for him to do. I would have enjoyed a scene where Bale and Harrelson talked about Casey Affleck's death. I would have liked to know more about why Degroat killed Rodney Baze, Jr.

   How did DeGroat know that SWAT was coming for him? It just happened in the span of a minute. DeGroat's not at home, SWAT breaks his door down, and that's it. It was a cheat. I was expecting a nice little action sequence, instead there was a lot of tension that never really came down. It was disappointing to see a scene underused. It would have also showed the audience how ruthless DeGroat really is.

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