Thursday, January 17, 2013

Film Review: Barry Battles' The Baytown Outlaws

The one thing I wonder, when detractors and haters begin to put down Quentin Tarantino as nothing more than a director who rips off every movie he has ever seen, is why then, have so many directors since QT first put his foot into the directorial waters, try to copy him?  If he is only a copy, then why is everyone trying to copy him in turn?  The 1990's had a slew of bad Pulp Fiction wannabes lining dusty video shelves, and there have been multiple attempts at recreating the director's Kill Bills over the better part of a decade now.  None of which can stand up to the originals, or, if the aforementioned haters are talking, the originals of the originals.  Now, here we are in early 2013, eight films deep into Tarantino's career, and we have a film that vainly tries to recreate, not just one of these, but pretty much all but the director's latest (they were filming at the same time after all).  And, for more or less, this latest QT wannabe, is as successful, or should we say unsuccessful, as all the others.

Directed by Barry Battles, an actor-turned-director so obscure that he doesn't even warrant a Wikipedia entry, The Baytown Outlaws is the story of three redneck brothers who work as hired guns.  One of the brothers is a large mute ex-wrestler, the other two are so interchangeable that I had a hard time telling them apart throughout the film.  I suppose this is apropos of how unoriginal the movie as a whole is.   With dialogue that sounds like a cheap knock-off of Tarantino, and cinematic aspects lifted right out of Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill 1 and 2, Deathproof and Inglourious Basterds, but given a cheap twist that makes them even drabber than the typical Tarantino wannabe film.  Hell, Battles even gets Zoe Bell, QT's ass-kicking, stunt-driving, car-surfing bella donna from Death Proof (and muse Uma's stuntwoman in Kill Bill), to play a small part in his film.  Hell, he's not only stealing ideas and scenes and the such, but actors as well - and she doesn't even kick any ass in this one.

Now, I should probably take it easy on Battles for his so-called theft of ideas, for my vaunted dear Quentin does this as well (he is quoted as "I steal from every movie ever made"), so let us look at this film with newly opened eyes.  How exactly does it stand on its own two feet?  Not well I'm afraid, not well at all.  Hitting on every cliché in the proverbial book, Battles, whomever he may be, has created - nay, concocted - one hell of a messy movie.  The lines given to Billy Bob Thornton as the mob boss our aforementioned redneck brothers run afoul of, would be the perfect opening chapter in a book describing how to act and sound like a stereotypical bad guy.  Granted, Billy Bob is good enough that he almost manages to make it work, but no one else fares as well.  When one of the brothers is hurt, guess who comes to the rescue of these white trash, immigrant-hating killers.  That's right, an illegal immigrant.  Seriously, who is writing this shit?  Perhaps Battles is better to keep himself under the radar.  Anyway, going on from here would just be unsportsmanlike, so I will end things right here.  So long.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're a fucking idiot

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
savcam500 said...

Just enjoy the damn ride, man. I didn't see much at all of Tarantino's homage/pastiche/rip-off style in this; just a good, Grindhouse-style exploitation flick. There's none of Tarantino's pop-culture-obsessed dialog, which he finds more clever than anyone else ever has.

And it's always nice to see what is essentially the last acceptable demographic that can be mocked and derided and stereotyped with impunity (po' White trash) as the "heroes" (or really, antiheroes) of a film (though of the brothers, only Clayne Crawford is the only Southerner, and in fact only American, of the brothers).

I just have to say, "You'd know if you'd ever spent a day in your life." -D. Mamet

So, in summation (tl;dr), you're a boring person that I hope never to be seated with at a dinner, or more appropriately, at a pig pickin'.