The Hollow Point (aka The Man on Carrion Road) review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
The Hollow Point is an inadvertently bloody and violent romp that doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to the corruption of the meek-minded and their ability to make others’ lives a living hell. To this extent, The Hollow Point mixes several genres including that of the now-infamous western which, by a strike of either chance or deliberate effort – mixes well with (some) conventions of the neo-noir as well. But more importantly: is The Hollow Point any good? Well, it most certainly has some “hollow points” within it which need patching, but I wholeheartedly give it a pass because it’s original enough to not make me fall asleep after the one hour mark. So, kind of yeah, I guess?
The film is set amidst an illegal arms-trade-gone-wrong, involving two unlikely sides – that of Mexico and the USA. In it, there are all sorts of characters thrown in there for good measure (some would argue archetypes), such as corrupt policemen, shady dealers, a professional hitman, and a ton of other (mostly corrupt) individuals who stop at nothing to see their personal business agendas go through. In fact, these characters even go as far as disregarding human life to succeed, which I guess breaks all unwritten moral codes and stipulates a deeply ingrained sense of nihilism and chaos (attributed to these exact characters).
And so, we have ruthless killers posing as morally superior individuals in a grey ethical landscape painted, a tense atmosphere that just breeds conflict, and a culmination which could only end up with a bang – which is exactly what the audience gets.
Additionally, Gonzalo López-Gallego (the film’s director) and Nils Lyew (screenwriter) helm the whole ordeal pretty consistently all around, filling the script’s crevasses as they go; in this regard, it could be said that the entire cast (Jim Belushi as Shep Diaz, Shep Diaz playing Wallace, Lynn Collins as Marla, and John Leguizamo playing Atticus) makes the most out of the film, with some selective few even having obvious fun along the way of doing so.
Having said all of that, the main problem with The Hollow Point is its lack of a really convincing story (or the execution of it thereof). The narrative seems complex, but nowadays complex doesn’t necessarily mean good by any stretch of the imagination whatsoever.
In terms of technical details, the film is quite ok. This is literally a bite-sized exercise in playing it safe: nothing too out of the ordinary, just the most textbook camera examples one can ever produce. Which is kind of a shame really, since an interesting premise like this gets drowned in an innocuous but foolproof cinematography and sound.
All taken into consideration, The Hollow Point is probably worth your time, once, when you’d rather succumb to evaporating your hardly-acquired neurons than doing some real work – like producing a full-fledged film yourself.