film reel image

film reel image

Sunday, September 13, 2020

The Big Ugly 2020 * * Stars


"You're looking for answers". Aren't we all. Me, I'm looking to watch a movie. I'm looking to take in something where lock, stock meets the greasy underbellies of a Waffle House. And yup, Vinnie "antihero" Jones and his scowl better be there.

Anyway, The Big Ugly is my latest review. Released by way of Internet in July of this year, "Ugly" is a shambled, southern-fried noir that's produced by almost everyone starring in it (Jones, Ron Perlman, Malcolm McDowell). Billed as a straight action spectacle, The Big Ugly is anything but.

So yeah, "Ugly" was shot in Kentucky, wanted to be shot in Ohio, and takes place in the Appalachians of the Mountain State. Either way you slice it, you're getting your full onslaught of baddie shenanigans and double crosses in Middle America. Characters get beaten, drunk, and/or plugged, 70's pop tunes show up in various scenes, women are objective cogs, and a cocktail called bourbon and milk is dutifully introduced (or at least it was to me). "Ugly" indeed.

Filmed about two years ago and featuring a closing credits montage set to Exile's "Kiss You All Over" (this gag felt more warranted in 1993's Dazed and Confused), "Ugly's" story hinges around a London mob outfit that gets involved with some West Virginia oilmen in hopes of getting rich via some dirty laundering money. When a girlfriend of one of the mob bosses gets murdered unexpectedly, revenge is carried out and all heck breaks loose.

With some shoddy editing, some recycled machismo line readings, and some out of place narration, "Ugly's" all over the place account doesn't really help move things along. By the end of "Ugly", the dramatis personae involved are meant to feel more important than the viewer that is watching them. Bottom line: A mixed review for The Big Ugly was "big easy".

Written by Jesse Burleson

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