Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Prince Avalanche Falls Short

Prince Avalanche felt like a desperate attempt at indie gold.  The film focuses on Alvin (played by Paul Rudd) who is spending the summer in solitude in the backwoods of Texas painting street lines on miles of rural highway damaged by wildfire.  Alvin is an odd duck who can’t quite decide what makes him happy.  Immersing himself entirely in the silence of the decimated, charred forest Alvin is less than excited when he takes on an unlikely partner, his girlfriend’s younger brother Lance, played by Emile Hirsch.  Immature, obnoxious, and mildly philosophical, Lance is at first nothing more than an annoyance to Alvin as he talks constantly about “getting laid” and partying in town.  As the film progresses the two form an unlikely friendship as they help each other deal with their life problems including relationship woes and an uncertainty about the future which plagues them both.  While the film has a few laugh out loud moments in which ironic, Wes Anderson like humor is employed mostly by Rudd, the movie was an overall failed attempt at an emotionally gripping coming of age tale.  It’s brutally apparent that Emile Hirsch’s character is considerably younger than himself which at times was awkward to watch as he seemed overly whiny and childish and more of a caricature of a recent high school grad rather than the real thing.  Their relationship is more believable at certain times but for the most part it’s obvious that you are watching Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch and for me that is rule number one when it comes to indie films.  If it’s clear that you are watching well-known actors, it takes away from the real life believability that makes great indie movies so powerful and that is where Prince Avalanche falls short.

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