Folks, this is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. Extremely well-written, beautifully directed, and really well-acted. Of course, the director is Russian and so is one of the stars, so I’m not shocked.
The movie is a hymn to American masculinity. It’s a metaphor of the castrated, weakened American masculinity that is shattered by the destruction of manufacturing, brought to submission by the passive-aggressive American femininity, and harassed by the Hispanics who, while pathetic and disorganized, are mistakenly perceived as threatening.
Finally, the character who personifies this castrated masculinity realizes that the Hispanics are not the enemy. They are just miserable bastards trying to save their child. The real enemy is the transnational crime represented in the movie by the Russian mafia whose boss is played by a really famous Russian actor.
The castrated masculinity guy remembers his old glory as a really strong man, destroys paper money, adopts the gold standard, and begins to pummel the evildoers. In the end, he’s only successful because a moment of solidarity is reached by an old white guy (a representative of the old-school manliness), a middle-aged white guy, and a black guy who puts away his racial resentments and stands up for America. The evil Russians are defeated. And even the wife finally stops nagging and accepts the husband in this new, uncastrated version.
Yes, the trope of a lone hyper-masculine hero who pummels evildoers in a bunch of inventive ways is as old as Hollywood. But all stories are old. It’s all in the details, and the details here are so coherent and meaningful that the movie delivers the punchiest of punches.
A really great movie. Do watch. It stars Bob Odenkirk who is an amazing actor. You just can’t go wrong with this movie.