Around the Bend (15)
Time Out says‘Secondhand Lions’ stars Michael Caine and Josh Lucas reunite for another touchy-feely family generations drama with barely a woman in sight. As Jason (Lucas) tends to his young son Zach and his dying grandfather Henry (Caine), his estranged father Turner (Christopher Walken) comes knocking. Henry’s will demands that the three take a road trip to Albuquerque via appointed branches of his favourite restaurant, KFC. Thus life-changing conversations are held over a chicken leg and an urn, and it’s this juxtaposition of the ordinary and extraordinary that’s the nub of the film’s humour. But while genial, the comedy rarely packs a punch, doling out predictable asides to the tune of perky incidental music. Delayed moments of exposition may have been intended to create mystery, but the resulting lack of tension places the onus of entertainment on patchy dialogue and performances. Thank heavens, then, for Walken’s magnetic portrait of a man utterly broken by the death of his wife, an unseen figure who, in the film’s surprisingly moving finale, proves to be the most crucial character of all.
Fri Apr 22, 2005