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Ever get started on a film that looks like it’s gonna be just what you were hoping for and get just a few minutes in and feel those pangs of worry ripple across your mind that maybe it’s not. Such is the case with Jacob Cooney‘s intriguing Blue Line (alternately titled The Assault), a compelling little crime spree flick that is just rife with potential and loaded with good moments but damn if there aren’t some little tweaks that build early …
It follows two best friends, Lindsay (Jordan Ladd) and Nicole (Nikki Moore), both up to their ears in their current lives, having enough of their lot in life, with Lindsay especially tired of her abusive husband Seth (Tom DeNucci) and Nicole with being a stripper. The two take to a life a crime, donning skeleton masks and voice modulators with big plans to put Seth out of business and get out of town, but of course things go south and the girls go on the run with a cop on their tail, he being Detective Broza (Tom Sizemore), who has thing for Nicole. Now, with their own relationship getting rocky, can the two girls stay one step ahead and make their dreams come true?
Written and directed by Cooney, Blue Line is an often gripping thrilling that does a great job of making the low budget movie look far better than expected with glossy production and plenty of surprisingly authentic moments. Cooney paces it well and knows how to build some decent tension with the heists all mostly convincing and an outstanding wintery setting. Think of a mix between Heat and Fargo. It’s a solid cast, if perfuctory, with some standouts, including some good work by the supporting players, especially big man Kevin Nash. Cooney, who wrote the screenplay, gets points for giving the leads to the women and having the twist run with them finding a life of crime by necessity, much like their long ago counterparts, Thelma and Louise, though to be sure, not quite to the same degree.
Issues arise with a few dialogue choices and both Ladd and Moore aren’t always in sync, throwing off a few crucial moments that don’t pack the punch needed. Moore carries a lot of the weight, but both women end up layered in clichés rather than anything earnest, dampening some of the impact that the story promises. Sizemore, who’s always had a kind of stand-offish approach, fares best, his natural gruffy and dangerous presence served well here. He might have lost a bit of the edge that made him so sharp in films like Heat and Saving Private Ryan, but he seems aware of it and lets his age be part of the character, making him the best reason to watch.
Blue Line has plenty of flaws, with a loose middle and some uninteresting characters, but on the flip side, it’s hard not to like the twist and the good work from Sizemore. Crime thrillers and heist movies are a dime a dozen and standing out is hard enough, but Cooney, who, with this and the recent Pitching Tents under his belt, proves he’s got the makings to be someone well worth keeping an eye on. A solid genre picture, Blue Line is a good watch.
Movie description: Blue Line is a 2017 drama about a woman and her best friend who go on a crime spree to rob her husband and escape her marriage.
Director(s): Jacob Cooney
Actor(s): Tom Sizemore, Jordan Ladd, Nikki Moore
Genre: Crime, Drama