MUSTANG ISLAND – A Review By Nick Askam

 

I wanted to love this movie. I wanted to love it because it was filmed in Texas. I wanted to love it because I wanted to continue my love for Green Room. I wanted to love it because I thought it would be authentic. It turns out, I did not love it.

I might not even go as far to say that I liked it. It was a movie that I felt frustrated by and couldn’t wrap my head around why I couldn’t get behind it. I feel like it’s the definition of an “Idiot Plot”. I felt like it was trying to say something, but I never did understand. I think the black/ white color scheme made me feel this way. I wish that I didn’t have such a long list of problems for a film that I really thought I would enjoy.

Mustang Island is about a guy named Bill (Macon Blair) who’s girlfriend Molly (Molly Karrasch) breaks up with him for seemingly no reason on New Year’s Eve. He then convinces his friends, John (John Merriman) and Travis (Jason Newman) to go track her down at Mustang Island. They meet a few characters away and they try to track him down.

The film portrays this image that no one would be surprised or astonished at this situation. Everyone would just be chill and go with the flow of the film. I felt the complete opposite. I think I had more anxiety in this film than others because characters are drinking and driving, breaking into each other’s houses, and being outlandish in public. Maybe it’s the beach attitude that my city-folk nature couldn’t handle. There were moments that I wish someone would just say that this is horribly wrong and we should have some remorse about the situation. That moment never came.

The acting was okay given the fact that I know the film was done on a shoe-string budget and some of the actors were not professionals. I thought that would be one of the reasons that it would be authentic. I never got that “waitress in Hell or High Water” moment that I felt exemplified Texas or even the small-town vibe. The closest that the audience got to that was Lee (Lee Eddy). She is a waitress that falls for Bill. Her larger part in the film was one of the shining moments, but I thought her part was too big for that little cameo of Texas that I wanted.

The film is funny. I will say that the awkward deliveries and unusual blending of personalities makes this film interesting. The characters have genuinely hilarious moments that actually made me laugh harder than I care to admit. The dynamics between Bill and John were probably my favorite because they felt so real. Each character had real motivations and nothing felt like it was the butt of the joke. There were no unnecessary character developments just to get a laugh. I appreciated that.

Overall, I wish the plot was better. I liked the movie aside from its plot. Unfortunately, it was so bad that it made me dislike other parts of the film that I usually would not dislike in other situations. I did appreciate the unique cinematography that was used because the film is in black and white. I will probably give this film another watch when I’m given the opportunity. Right now, I just can’t honestly get around the plot and that’s why my grade will be so low.

 

Grade: C+