Postcard Review – Straw Dogs (2011)
Dear Straw Dogs,
Subtlety is a weird, thing isn’t it? The very act of intimating something rather than speaking it allowed enables a whole interior world of thought and meaning. Silence and allusion can create a moral or a statement that transcends the actions that exist around it. Straw Dogs knew what subtly and ambiguity could accomplish. No, not you. Your fore-bearer, your namesake – Peckinpah’s original meditation on manliness and the place of intellect and strength in the modern world (back when the 1970s were modern).
You, though, are like a swaggering, rowdy, arrogant bruiser who throws threats and insults without the slightest concept of how to make them stick or even how to make them sound convincing. Your strokes are broader, which could work, but you lack the soul or the conviction of your power to really deliver on anything you promise. You waste so much time talking, and explaining, and enumerating that all sense of meaning or depth is squandered.
Had you not used the story and title of a much better film as a launching off point, you would have been mediocre, forgettable, but not as outright offensively misguided as you appear to be. As it stands you are a competently directed, decently acted rape of much better and more thoughtful handled intellectual territory. That film asked questions. You make ham-fisted statements.
Tell it to the wind,
Brian J. Roan