Movie Review: The Baytown Murders, Written by: Karen Benardello
Creating a black comedy full of vivid characters, extreme action and surprising plot twists on a low budget can be a difficult task for a first-time feature film scribe and director. But Barry Battles, who both helmed and co-wrote the new action crime comedy ‘The Baytown Outlaws,’ humorously and realistically mixed diverse characters on a search for redemption, with distinct sets and satirical humor. While the filmmaker succeeded in creating the thrill ride with a heart that he was hoping for, the short comings in the underdeveloped plot unfortunately failed to capture the true self-improvement the characters were looking for.
‘The Baytown Outlaws’ follows three infamously ruthless Alabama brothers who find themselves on the wrong side of crooked cops, relentless Feds and mad mobsters. After the determined Celeste (Eva Longoria) has a falling out with her immoral mobster ex-husband, Carlos (Billy Bob Thornton), and knowing he can be a maniacal psychopath, she turns to the most lawless hitmen in Alabama, the Oodie brothers-ringleader Brick (Clayne Crawford), mute wrestler Lincoln (Daniel Cudmore) and the youngest, G.I. McQueen (Travis Fimmel). Celeste is determined to take her disabled godson, Rob (Thomas Brodie Sangster), back from Carlos, even though it means putting her own life in danger. She knows her ex-husband is only caring for Rob so that he can take her godson’s inheritance, so she hires the three brothers to kidnap Rob back.
But what’s supposed to be an easy job for the Oodies ends up putting their lives in danger, as their hometown Sheriff Henry Millard (Andre Braugher) refuses to protect them anymore. The lawman fears for his job and his family when DEA Agent Reese (Paul Wesley) begins suspecting the three brothers of various crimes, which also puts their freedom in danger. While the brothers begin to care about Rob and aren’t solely focused on making money anymore, they realize the grave danger everyone is in on the seemingly easy job.
Battles created a cartoon caricature of violence and gangsters’ disregard of human regard in ‘The Baytown Outlaws,’ often interlacing the high-powered action and fighting sequences with satirical animation. From the Oodie brothers nonchalantly killing a houseful of people to Carlos facing his rightful fate for kidnapping Rob, the director aptly featured vivid black humor, mimicking the outlaws seemingly disinterest in the value of human life. The abstract art depicting the characters and the illegal activities they embark on immediately puts the audience at ease, signaling the film focuses more on the characters questioning why they turned to a life of violence, instead of the actual murders themselves.
To continue reading this review, please visit Shockya.