Texas Killing Fields – Oct 2011-Pastemagazine.com

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Texas Killing Fields

Big on suspense and cross referencing various classics from Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry material to David Fincher’s Seven  TKF is in many ways the little film that could. Yet, while alluding to the grandeur of the aforementioned,  it simply falls flat like a badly edited telemovie.

Sam Worthington as a local homicide detective show’s he’s more than a blue painted alien. His pompadour and prettiness offsetting a not so theatrical  Aussie bravado. This ham fisted candor is nicely balanced by sidekick city slicker (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)a transplanted cop from New York City in to vent his expertise.

The film’s storyline is Inspired by a the string of real-life unsolved murders in a small Texan town,  in the 1970s.  This climactic thriller follows Worthington’s character, Mike and his partner,  Brian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)as they hunt a wacko serial killer  who deposits his female victims' mutilated bodies in an isolated wasteland known as  The Killing Fields.

After the two detectives begin closing in on the villain The killer changes the game and begins hunting the detectives,  leaving creepy clues at the crime scenes while still managing to illude them. When a  well known local girl (Chloë Grace Moretz)  vanishes, the detectives  are pitted against the clock  to track before she is murdered.

Essentially this sounds pretty tense and edge of seat stuff, but things do tend to drag a little, making it pretty easy to exist for a popcorn break without missing anything to special. Still the stunning and raw Texas landscapes figures well, with all things Texan given a heightened presence  through  tension between the two detectives, with homeboy Worthington (Mike) continually clashing with out of towner Bryan  he he dismisses as a “yankee,” and all round outsider.

Things get off to a good start in terms of pace and tension, though sadly this is countered by a bunch of dragging, tired fodder. If you’re one for formulaic macho cop stories mixed with token gorey stuff then its yours for the taking – then again a new season of Storage Wars is about to start, that may be better value.

Craig Stephens