Bone Dry (2007) Review
Written by: jmh314
If there is one thing that I am a sucker for it's a great movie trailer. Often times I see a trailer that blows me away then I got overly excited for a film which often leads me to a letdown. In steps the thriller Bone Dry which I have been anticipating since I saw the trailer and disappointed me in the end. It's not to say its a bad film but I think I was expecting a lot more from the trailer. Actually, this is a film that you can figure out 90% of the movie from the trailer. I just expected the 100 minutes of this film to not feel like the 3 minute trailer dragged out forever.
Bone Dry is the story of Eddie. On his way through a small desert town he stops off for coffee. The waitress hits on him and tries to convince him to stay by saying the next 200 miles is a cellphone dead zone with nothing around. Eddie says thanks but he must be going. As he leaves the diner, another figure enters who terrifies the same waitress when she sees him.
Cut to the next morning as Eddie wakes up from sleeping in his car to take a piss. As he does his thing a man sneaks up behind him and points a gun to his head. Eddie offers the mysterious man his car, wallet or anything else but the man knocks Eddie unconscious. He clearly wasnt looking for money.
Eddie wakes up in the middle of the desert with no roads around after a rifle round nearly hits him. He wakes up confused as the only thing near him on the ground is a walkie-talkie and a compass. A mysterious voice gets on the radio and tells Eddie to walk straight north. He is told if he heads any other way he will be shot and killed as will his family. When Eddie asks who is on the radio and why he is doing this to him, the voice tells him he will find out and to call him Jimmy.
From there Jimmy tortures Eddie in the desert with a series of events as he walks noth. Jimmy leaves water for him that turns out to be drugged. He strips Eddie naked then handcuffs his arms in a bearhug around a tall cactus. The cactus needles and scorching desert sun leave Eddie to struggle to get free as soon as possible. There are several other tests that Jimmy puts Eddie through as he continues to have him walk norh through the Mojave Desert. Can Eddie survive the scorching heat and the intense tests Jimmy puts him through in order to survive? Or will Eddie give up and leave himself to die out in the desert or at the hands of the crazy Jimmy.
I must say the synopsis is hard to give because the majortiy of the film is Eddie walking through the desert talking back and forth with Jimmy on the radio. The whole film just felt like it was stretched way too thin. They could have cut a good 20 minutes out of the film to keep it tighter and faster moving because at times it was too slow to enjoy. Some of the banter gets repetitive like "why are youy doing this to me" or "I am not gonna listen to you anymore" type of dialog. There are some interesting tests Jimmy puts Eddie through but I didnt want to spoil all of them. Some of them are pretty cool but unfortunately these are even a little drawn out and somewhat unbelievable.
The acting was hit and miss. Eddie was played by Luke Goss and he was just alright. You somewhat felt bad for him but Goss wasnt good enough to make you fully care what was happening to him or why. He almost gave the Eddie character a little arrogance that I didnt enjoy. Hands down the film was held together because of Lance Henriksen's role as Jimmy. Lance was really born to play roles like this as he has shown with similar role in Near Dark and Hard Target.
The film itself looked wonderful as you could almost feel the unforgiving desert heat. Very good use of the wide open landscapes to help set the stage for this film. The scenery was used a lot to transition between scenes which was good but sometimesa little played out. There wasnt too much on the FX as the blood was kept to a minumum and primarily offscreen. The music and sound effects fit very well with the film to hlep it maintain it's tone throughout.
The biggest problem I have with this film is that it just seems to drag on forever, just like their desert setting. There is too much down time between the intense parts of the film and after a while it feels like deja vu with every scene walking & talking through the desert. The could have trimmed a great deal of fat from this and still kept the character development intact. Also there was a subplot with some drug runners that was absolutely unnecessary. Just didnt fit into the film at all if you ask me.
I still think Bone Dry is worth at least one viewing. It does move slowly but the intensity of Lance Henriksen's role as Jimmy and wanting to know why he is doing this to Eddie is enough to make it to the end. It does try to take too many twists as the end nears though. And while the big twist was kind of interesting it was also a little unbelievable especially since even the character Eddie couldnt remember the details as to how he knew Jimmy. Its hard to believe an ending when even the character himself doesnt believe it. But if you want a slow burn movie that is like a drawn out Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, then check out Bone Dry. it has some great scenery, good acting and interesting tests of human will, so you may just find it to be better than I did because the potential is there. I just think I set the bar too high because I loved the trailer and expected more.