Review Detail

5.3 3 10
FanMix June 06, 2009 2020
(Updated: July 17, 2012)
No Country for Old Men is an unique film. Part of it (mostly the Brolin/Bardem stuff) is a tense, suspenseful, violent thriller, and all of that is balanced with the poetic and introspective Tommy Lee Jones stuff. The contrast is what makes it special in my opinion. So, what happens if one succumbs to the temptation of having the thriller part only?

What happens is, it gets transformed into a totally different experience. What’s lost in introspection is won in tension. Now the movie resembles a neat 70s/80s movie in the vein of Sam Peckinpah, which has the feeling of an art film (the opening landscape shots without the narration remind me of the beginning of 2001. Loved that!) that wastes no moments and increases suspense by keeping us focused on Moss all the time. It’s not better than the original, only different but about equally good.

In the beginning, at least. The ending, while a good concept, feels rushed, particularly Chigurh’s final fadeout. That screams fanedited. If the video and audio had been faded out at different points, video earlier than audio, it would have worked much better. As it is now, it feels abrupt. And then, we get an epilogue with Tommy Lee Jones that totally breaks the mood built up to that point. It’s puzzling, pointless and unneeded. I know the editor has defended its inclusion, but it’s just how it plays for me. The Chigurh fadeout would have worked much better as a finale.

Twchnically this works okay, even if the crossfade at 0:16:30 doesn’t seem totally natural, and there’s a flash frame (from the bus sequence) at 0:25:15. Ugh.

This is an edit with a lot of possibilities it doesn’t totally fulfill in the end. With a little more work it would have been a classic. As it is, I give it a 6/10.
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