Does anyone remember the motion picture Crazy Heart ? Released in the year 2009, Jeff Bridges became praised all over the world, playing a drunk country singer, who lost his career many years ago. This is one of those motion pictures, where you get a very honest portait what fame can do to you. Even if you get a lot of money, and fans, does not mean you are happy with Life. The director of Crazy Heart, Scott Cooper, wrote the story and produced the movie. A lot of work doing all of this on his own, and he proved himself to be a very talented film maker. Christian Bale is one of the greatest english actors of all time. I could write a whole list of great motion Pictures he have starred in, he is simply fantastic in many motion pictures. American Psycho is without a doubt one of his greatest performances, it stands just as strong as it did 14 years ago. Out Of The Furnace is a thriller set in a small town, with a great cast like Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker and Sam Shepard. But that´s not all, this motion picture is also produced by Leonardo Di Caprio and Ridley Scott. Wow, a very impressive combination. Considering so many great names involved, is Out Of The Furnace a thriller worth your attention, or is this something most people will forget on the dvd shelves ?
Russell Baze ( Christian Bale ) is a hard worker at the North Braddock Steel Mill, trying to make a living. Russel meet his little brother Rodney Baze ( Casey Affleck ), at a horse racing simulcast. Rodney loose his bet, and Russel finds out Rodney own money to John Petty ( William Dafoe ), a bar owner who make many illegal business arrangments. Russel go and visit John to try and pay some of his Brothers debt, but John do not take his money, John says that Rodney have to try and solve this problem himself. Rodney have been to Iraq, serving the US Army and he is still depressed and angry about what happened over there. Russel try and help his brother, while their father Gerald Baze ( Bingo O´Malley ) is very ill, and have not long left to live. The same night Russel visit John, he drives home drunk. But tragic strikes, as Russel crash into another car and kill the passengers, including a child. Russel´s girlfriend Lena Warren ( Zoe Saldana ) leave him, as he is sent to prison. The years go by, and in prison Russel is informed his father have passed away. Rodney try and visit his brother when he can, Lena does not want to visit him. When Russel finally is released from prison, he decide to restore his fathers house, and fix all the problems that have not been taken care of. Russel also goes back to work at the Steel Mill. Rodney is happy to have his brother home, but when Russel finds out his brother is fighting for money, he becomes worried and angry. He suggest that Rodney should also get a job at the Steel Mill, Rodney refuse. Instead, Rodney is trying to fight even more, meeting much stronger fighters, who are set up by Harlan DeGroat ( Woody Harrelson ), a drug dealer who arrange fights. Harlan agree to let Rodney fight. The deal is that Rodney should loose, but when the fight is on, Rodney ignore the rule at first. This is not what Harlan agreed on, but Rodney still loose the fight. John, who helped Rodney to this fight, take him home. But on the highway, they both get stopped by Harlan and his men. Both are brutally killed. Police Chief Wesley Barnes ( Forest Whitaker ) inform Russel about his brother´s death. Russel begin to plan to revenge on his brother´s death.
Out Of The Furnace may not be a very original story, but i feel bad for director Scott Cooper, since this became a huge box office bomb last year. Because this is actually a good thriller about small town life and tragedies, with great acting, especially from Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, and William Dafoe. I dont think we will ever find out why people did not go and see this one, maybe the promotion was too bad, or maybe it was screened in just a few cinemas. Either way, this is a movie more people should check out. The story is not the strength, it is the acting from all these great actors, with characters who feel realistic. Great to see Willam Dafoe doing a dark character, he have that special look that fit perfect to a criminal. Director Scott Cooper proves once again that he can tell deep stories, in a very dark way. This is not as great as Crazy Heart, but i still feel that Out Of The Furnace is a thriller with much to say. One thing that i had a problem with, is the character of Forest Whitaker. Don´t get me wrong, he is a great actor, but here he feels kind of blend. A solid thriller, thanks to great acting, i suggest you rent this one, or check it out on VOD.