Promised Land

Promised Land is, for the lack of a better term, an okay movie. The plot lines are shallow, the progression is familiar, and the ending confusing but a likable cast with personable performances warrants at least a single viewing whether at home or the theaters. The movie successfully creates the small town feel and offers a great sense of community against a beautiful rural backdrop. Overall the movie has a good and honest agenda against fracking, but unfortunately this doesn’t seem fully realized on screen.

After it’s limited initial release on December 28th, 2012, Promised Land finally released nation wide on January 4th 2013. Written by Matt Damon and John Krasinski the movie serves to bring awareness to the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, other wise known as fracking.

Promised Land

Promised land tells the story of two sales partners who visit a rural town in attempt to buy rights to drill in their town. What was supposed to be a quick get in and get out operation eventually turns into a bigger ordeal when an unexpected environmentalist arrives to oppose the sales team.

Matt Damon, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt and Frances McDormand were all rather enjoyable in this film. The acting is sincere with a few heartfelt moments sprinkled in. I especially liked the partner chemistry Damon and McDormand had going for them. They continuous riffing on each other as well as the shared frustration showed a genuine team dynamic and added to depth to their friendship. Krasinski of course brings his naturally charismatic personality to the movie and creates an enjoyable antagonistic character. It’s such a shame that movie feels shallow when the cast works incredibly well together.

Despite the great performances the movie follows extremely familiar archetypes, which left an overall bland feeling. I left the movie not really moved either way with the only way of describing the movie, for lack of a better term, as just okay. The movie tries to interweave little side plots but most of them never really seem to go anywhere meaningful. The only one that has some merit is the romantic interest of Steve (Damon), and Alice (DeWitt), which again is credited to the likeable performance of the cast. The movie does a great job of creating the small hometown ‘everybody knows everybody’ feel. The rural scenery serves as some great eye candy and gives the movie a good sense of community.

The movie sets out to bring awareness to fracking but overall comes outs feeling like more of a slap on the wrist of big business and less like an argument against fracking. In fact you could watch the two-minute trailer instead of the hour plus movie and get the same amount of argument that the movie has to offer. The rest of the time is spent showing the evil deceptions of big business. I would have like to have seen more of the effects on fracking instead of the political power struggle and campaigning between the environmentalists and businesses. Throughout the movie they makes multiple mentions about how it’s only the extraction process that is the real danger like it wants to offer its own ideas but instead it just tip toes around any suggestions all together. Without giving away too much, the movie seems to sacrifice its message in favor of a more cinematic ending. It wasn’t satisfying, and it left me wondering just who were the bad guys and who are the good guys.

Promised Land is, for the lack of a better term, an okay movie. The plot lines are shallow, the progression is familiar, and the ending confusing but a likable cast with personable performances warrants at least a single viewing whether at home or the theaters. The movie successfully creates the small town feel and offers a great sense of community against a beautiful rural backdrop. Overall the movie has a good and honest agenda against fracking, but unfortunately this doesn’t seem fully realized on screen.

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One response to “Promised Land

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of April 22st | Thinking Cinematic

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