“No Country For Old Men” was one of those movies I meant to see all along but never did, and now thanks to the magic of movies by mail, I can go back and watch those I’ve missed. It’s not a movie for the faint of heart, but real life isn’t either. The story begins when a redneck in Texas stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong, finds a suitcase full of money, and takes it home with him. Regrettably, he returns to the scene of the crime, either to help out that one last dying man or to finish him off, but the Mexican drug lords arrive, and our hero is on the run with the money.
There are two interested parties that being the people who were buying the drugs and those selling the drugs, and the hunt really begins when the drug buyers send an assassin out, who is a little more than just nuts about killing.
What I do not like about the movie is they stole part of the plot from me. I wrote a short story back in 2001 or 2002 where a redneck finds a crashed drug plane and the money he takes has a transponder in it, just like in this movie.
The results of taking money from people who either buy or sell drugs are very predictable.
What makes the movie is Tommy Lee Jones, who plays the part of an old time Texas Sheriff whose country the drug deal was taking place to begin with. The rapid rise of drug money and the problems that come with it is expertly juxtaposed over Jones’ character’s life, and times. The man on the run manages by pure luck and a little savvy to stay one step ahead of those trying to kill him, but each steps brings him, and his family back home, closer and closer to an end that cannot be escaped by anyone who gets involved with this sort of activity.
Another fine performance is turned in by Javier Bardem, who plays the assassin. He’s dispassionate and mechanical to the point of obsession and though not an imposing or particularly striking character, he is one of the most frightening since Hannibal Lector. Bardem eases through the film and nothing will stand in the way of him and his prey, not the law, or the drug lords, and not even the people who hired him.
Kelly McDonald, who plays the long suffering yet loving wife of the money thief, makes the most of her small part in the movie, and helps nail down an odd ending.
I really liked the movie but I recommended against it being a first movie alone with a new girlfriend movie, unless you’re looking to see her get up and walk towards the door five minutes after the credits roll. This is a movie you’ll slip into the mailbox without any warm fuzzy feelings, and you’ll have this deep feeling that if you ever come upon two millions dollars in the desert, you’ll take it and run, and know better than to make the same mistakes.
The endings, however, are usually very similar.