No Country for Old Men, the latest film from the Cohen Brothers (The Big Lebowski, Fargo) is stark, cold and extremely bad ass. Centered on a drug deal gone wrong in the west Texas plains, the story evolves around one man trying to skip town with the found drug money and an assassin sent to recover the missing cash.
Plot summary aside, this movie should be seen because the assassin known as Anton is probably the best movie villain in the last ten years [Ed. Note: Joker’s better since]. He’s huge, wears all black, has bitchin’ hair and the weapons of choice are far beyond the typical bounty hunter arsenal.
The story telling and scenery are the perfect. The cinematography is beautiful and the soundtrack is non-existent. Tension is built organically and nothing seems forced or gratuitous. That being said, the conclusion of the story leaves something to be desired and that’s most likely the point. The final act fits, but seems to hang on too long. The film makes you draw your own conclusions rather than spoon-feeding you a typical bloody shoot out ending.
Tommy Lee Jones closes the movie with a monologue about his post retirement dreams. Screen goes black Sopranos style and the audience I saw the movie with was disappointed. I’m not sure whether this was an indication of how expecting movie-goers are of formulaic endings or how successful No Country for Old Men is. Either way, see the movie, suspend disbelief and be prepared to think once the credits role. Everything is deliberate, the way it should be.