- The two lead performances by Richie Merritt and Matthew McConaughey are pretty solid. Merritt here, making his acting debut, shows he’s got some potential in his future. His seemingly uncaged rawness and authenticity brings so much to the title character. Though I must say there are moments where he looks a little lost when going head to head with more veteran actors, but overall he gets the job done. McConaughey on the other hand steals virtually every scene he’s in. He continues to transform into his characters, here with a solid mustache and a gorgeous greasy mullet. Bel Powley as well comes in and gives a solid performance. She rides her characters roller coaster of an arc in a strong manner.
- Yann Demange’s direction is a bit of a mixed bag. Demange brings a lived in feeling of 1980s Detroit very well. He as well brings some small tranquil moments with characters, that are both brief, yet very beautiful.
- The cinematography by Tat Radcliffe here brings a grainy grime to this film and is one of the biggest highlights. Radcliffe brings so much texture to the film from seemingly never ending Detroit winters to roller rinks. Throughout the film he continuously brings his own visual flare.
- A large chunk of this films problems stem from the screenplay. This film overall is choppy and for the narrative as a whole is just a mess. We seem to jump all over the place throughout the film and never even lay the ground work for why we should care, have empathy, or even much interest in our lead character. Though there is one interesting character, McConaughey’s “Rick Sr.”, the screenplay still couldn’t find a way to make it’s lead character a viable one. Which probably shows why this story should have been either an hour or so longer, or just been a mini-series.
- As I said earlier the direction from Yann Demange is a mixed bag. The negative being his pacing isn’t very strong. Though the screenplay he’s working with isn’t the greatest either, his pacing still falters in the end.