I bailed on Kat Chandler‘s Hellion, which everyone seems to admire, at roughly the one-hour mark. This is the kind of earnestly grungy indie that critics like Guy Lodge fall for or write about with some admiration, and which I want to escape from as soon as possible. I hate dealing with the problems of pissed-off, under-educated, lower-middle-class types. They’re not my kind of people. I didn’t give a damn about the anger or the pain or the bleachy color or the buzzing dirt bikes. I didn’t care about the characters or their problems or the cops or the social services lady…include me out.
The hell-bent Jacob, played by young Josh Wiggins…sorry, man. The angry, alcoholic, widowed dad played by HE nemesis Aaron Paul (who grew a beard and gained weight for the role — his head is shaped like a basketball)…later. Juliette Lewis is agreeably humane as the sister of Paul’s absent wife, but otherwise I wanted to put this hellish environment behind me as quickly as possible. It gave me a damn headache.
I started to plan my exit about 35 or 40 minutes in. Am I going to submit to this thing for another 20 minutes or am I going to be a man and leave now? I wimped out and waited. And waited some more. It was only another 20 minutes but it felt like 40.
Hellion is going to have to make its way through the commercial movie-watching, movie-savoring world without my assistance. I’m sure it’ll be fine. Several Sundance reviewers have given it the hey-ho.