Blood for Lust

Blood for Lust
Original title:Blood for Lust
Director:Rod Blackhurst
Running time:98 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
Ricky (Kit Harington) makes a lot of money selling illegal guns in the tri-state area, and likes to flaunt it. Cliff (Scoot McNairy), a traveling salesman, covers the same territory as Ricky. Desperate to find some financial help for his struggling family, Cliff agrees to team up with Ricky to make drug and arms deliveries for a mid-level American cartel boss, John (Josh Lucas). When a simple exchange turns into a bloodbath after Ricky kills everyone in a takeover, the duo find themselves in a pressure cooker situation where Cliff, an unlikely drug dealer, must fight as hard as he can to stay alive.

Mulder's Review

Blood for Dust is a neo-Western crime thriller that plunges its audience into a world of despair, moral ambiguity and dangerous criminals. Against a backdrop of desolate landscapes, seedy motels and dark back rooms, the film takes viewers on a journey into the heart of economic struggle and what people are willing to do to escape their situation.

Blood for Dust is a story of choices and consequences. The story revolves around Cliff (Scoot McNairy), a down-on-his-luck traveling salesman faced with mounting debts and a family that depends on him. The weight of his responsibilities and the looming specter of his sick son's medical bills push him to make decisions he never thought he'd make.

Then Ricky (Kit Harington), a former colleague with questionable morals, enters the picture. Ricky offers Cliff the opportunity to make a quick buck from illegal activities, taking advantage of his vulnerability and desperation. This dynamic between the two characters is one of the film's strong points. McNairy's portrayal of Cliff is a masterpiece of internal conflict - he vacillates between his inherent goodness and the temptation of an easy way out. Ricky, meanwhile, exudes a charismatic yet dangerous energy that drives Cliff deeper into the criminal world.

Director Rod Blackhurst's visual storytelling creates a tense, moody atmosphere that mirrors the characters' emotional states. Justin Derry's images reinforce the film's sense of imminent danger and unease, capturing both the vastness of the landscapes and the claustrophobia of the characters' predicaments. Nick Bohun's music contributes to the film's ominous tone, underscoring the high stakes of the choices that are made.

The film also tackles the theme of cyclical violence and its impact on individuals and communities. As Cliff sinks deeper into the criminal enterprise, he finds himself caught in a cycle of violence and betrayal from which there seems no escape. The character of John (Josh Lucas), the local crime lord, embodies this idea of perpetuating violence as a means of survival. Lucas delivers a remarkable performance, exuding a chilling combination of menace and unpredictability.

While Blood for Dust is undeniably captivating, it does have its shortcomings. The pace, particularly in the first act, can seem slow and drawn-out when it comes to establishing Cliff's desperate situation. Moreover, the film's narrative trajectory may seem familiar to those familiar with the crime thriller genre. It treads familiar ground, adhering to certain genre conventions without necessarily subverting them.

Yet within this familiar framework, Blood for Dust manages to captivate with its convincing performances, atmospheric staging and exploration of moral complexity. The examination of how economic hardship can drive individuals to make choices that challenge their values and principles adds depth to the story. The tension between survival and morality creates a palpable sense of unease, and the film's climax offers moments of intense action and suspense that keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

Blood for Dust is a crime thriller that doesn't shy away from exploring the darker aspects of human nature. It navigates the familiar territory of despair and crime with a fresh perspective, thanks in no small part to the performances of its lead actors. While it doesn't break new ground in the genre, it does manage to capture the essence of a neo-western, immersing viewers in a world of hard choices, moral gray areas and the harsh realities of survival.

Blood for dust 
Directed by Rod Blackhurst
Written by David Ebeltoft
Produced by Noah Lang, Mark Fasano, Bernard Kira, Arun Kumar Ari Novak
Starring Scoot McNairy, Kit Harington, Josh Lucas
Cinematography : Justin Derry
Edited by Justin Oakey
Music by Nick Bohun
Release date : June 2023 (Tribeca)
Running time : 98 minutes

Seen September 3 2023 at Deauville international center

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