The Hollow Point
Patrick Wilson, Ian McShane, Lynn Collins, John Leguizamo
…well-crafted and exhilarating…
The long arm of the law becomes a little shorter in this energetic thriller from director Gonzalo López-Gallego (Open Grave). In a small town on the US/Mexico border, Wallace (Patrick Wilson) has returned home to become the new sheriff when his predecessor, Leland (Ian McShane) shoots an unarmed man on a traffic violation. Leland thinks the dead man was up to no good, and when Wallace digs a little deeper he uncovers a smuggling cartel.
Expertly shot against the fierce background of the desert, The Hollow Point ups the ante when Wallace ends up in a brawl with a machete-happy assassin (John Leguizamo) and loses a hand in the process. Now having to rely on Leland for support, the two men strike a deal to bring the cartel down.
A mash up of western, noir and exploitation, The Hollow Point may not be subtle in terms of character or plot, but it is well-crafted and exhilarating with its director using every last cent of its budget to great effect. Take, for example, the parking lot shootout that sees the drunken Leland defending his land as smoke swirls around in a manner which both aids and hinders his task.
Whilst Wilson adds the human side to a midnight movie plot, its McShane that stands out as the hard-drinking, hard-talking ex-sheriff with a penchant for wearing cowboy boots with his pyjamas. With a voice as rough as his 5 o’clock shadow, Leland is the archetypal western anti-hero; who epitomises everything Wallace can become if he lets the town and its politics get to him. Also of note is Jim Belushi, as a sleazy car salesman with a debt to pay.
The Hollow Point works to its strength with the exception of a romance sub-plot that’s best cut adrift.