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Friday, June 10, 2022

Buried in Barstow 2022 * * 1/2 Stars


"Are you in trouble?" The answer is usually yes. The question is, is 2022's Buried in Barstow actually a Lifetime Network movie? Yup and it appears more like something Miramax would have put out in the mid-90s. Unbeknownst to me, Lifetime sort of goes out of its comfort zone here.

Clocking in at 87 minutes (if you take away the commercials), "Barstow" is Lifetime's version of plot over plot over plot. You don't know quite where it's headed (most of the time) but Angie Harmon in the lead is one bad mama jama. Harmon gives a solid performance and almost makes you forget that she's even in a Lifetime flick. I mean maybe she didn't know the truth all along.

Buried in Barstow is about a woman named Hazel King (Harmon). King runs a diner with her daughter and many years ago, she used to be a hit woman for some Vegas mobsters (Barstow is a town 2-plus hours outside of Vegas, hint hint). "Barstow" revolves around Hazel's contract-killing past which comes back to haunt her. It's almost like David Cronenberg's A History of Violence went the TV movie route (for reals).

Buried in Barstow is directed by one Howard Deutch, you know the guy behind Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, and The Great Outdoors. It's been awhile since I've seen Howard helm a film and he's gone down quite a different avenue these days. If you're looking for Eric Stoltz to take out the hot girl or John Candy to finish that "Old 96'er", look somewhere else.

Anyway, "Barstow" is violent, unevenly funny, twisty, and unforgiving but it also feels rather unfinished (that's because it is). The pic is clearly a setup for a sequel so it's difficult to readily probe what I just saw. I'll just go with a mixed review and well, "bury" the issue.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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