Thursday, September 3, 2015
Brave Men's Blood (2014)
The plot of the film has an Internal Affairs cop making a deal with a newly arrested gangster. It seems the head of the narcotics division is on the take with the biggest crime lord in the city. Drafting in the head of the SWAT team the pair begin to pursue the dirty cop and the gangster who controls him. However the deeper they go the more complicated things become and the higher the potential cost. Will anyone be willing to pay the price for justice.
I first heard about this film when the PR people sent me some info on the film and asked me if I wanted to review it. It was the right person asking so I of course said yes. I then slipped the screener link into the queue and continued on doing what I was doing, figuring I would get to the film in time to review it for the street date...
...but something started to happen. as I went to press screenings and I ran into friends and acquaintances who write on film everyone kept asking me if I had seen BRAVE MEN'S BLOOD yet? Because I hadn't, I said "no" to which everyone snapped back- "you should. Watch it tonight". I would have loved to protest but everyone seemed to be near abusive with the insistence that I had to see this film.
What kind of film sparked that kind of love?
A really good one.
Working with a plot that has been done before to death, writer director Olaf de Fleur turns it into something truly special by creating characters that live and breath and a world that seems very real. It helps that this film is actually a very loosely connected sequel to his earlier film CITY STATE from three years ago. That film set up the world of the film and gave life to several of the characters who cross over. You can feel the world bleeding off the screen and into the world around you in a way that most films never manage. (You don't have to see the two films other than the setting and a few characters there is no connection) de Fleur also worked his magic by picking actors who disappear into their roles completely. I know I've seen a bunch of these actors before but after this film they will be marked as being in this film.
The real treat here is the tension the film generates. From the opening cross cutting between gangster and cop all the way to the end this film is one giant ball of tension. Its clear from the opening as cop Hannes fails to get into the special forces unit that he has a chip on his shoulder and he will do anything to knock it off. We completely understand why he makes the choices he does and makes the deal with the devil. de Fleur is so good at sucking us in that we groan and talk to the screen even as the events play out that we should have seen coming. The film is a been there and done that sort of thing but de Fleur uses what we think we know, his cast and some rapid editing to expertly keep us on the edge of our seats.
This really is one you want to see. Its so good that you won't care this isn't 100% new because you'll be too invested in what's happening to care.
As I said at the top this hits VOD Tuesday and is worth your time.