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Sunday, June 7, 2020

2 Graves in the Desert 2020 * 1/2 Stars

2 Graves in the DesertDirector: Benjamin Goalabre
Year: 2020
Rated NR
Rating: * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Michael Madsen, William Baldwin, Cassie Howarth

"You tired?" I was for sure, especially at the halfway point of watching 2020's 2 Graves in the Desert (my latest review). If I had to view "Graves" again, I'd probably opt to attend a trying insurance seminar or maybe even a lecture on fine quilting.

So yeah, in 2 Graves in the Desert there's virtually no thrills even though it is billed as a thriller (talk about false advertising). What's on screen is basically sadistic, bloody, and for eighty-four minutes, almost pointless. And yes, it doesn't help that the soundtrack of "Graves" is that annoying and cliched, direct-to-video spy music.

Michael Madsen and William Baldwin star in trailer for kidnapping ...Anyhow, 2 Graves in the Desert involves a man and a woman who wake up to become trapped in the back of a truck. We as the audience don't quite know why because "Graves" has what feels like the bare bones of a plot (something about being nobbled for drugs and quote, unquote, "the formula").

Cassie Howarth and Ivan Gonzalez play the cramped hostages while Michael Madsen and William Baldwin play the bestial kidnappers (Billy Baldwin looks so much like brother Alec now I thought it was Alec).

"Graves" primarily consisting of back and forth discourse in a confined space, focuses less on the star power of Madsen and Baldwin and more on unknowns Howarth and Gonzalez. That gives 2 Graves in the Desert a claustrophobic feel but it also makes the film tedious and a bit of a chore to sit through.

Michael Madsen and William Baldwin star in trailer for kidnapping ...With a couple of flashbacks, some stylized direction from Benjamin Goalabre (a rookie helmer who thinks he's being innovative), callous beatings, and references to the flick Titanic (whah?), "Graves" is sadly the antipode of being entertained. With the potential to be something more diverting, 2 Graves in the Desert would rather dig its own cinematic "barrow". Rating: 1 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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