TEXAS KILLING FIELDS
MOVIE: * (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
Inspired by true events, “Texas Killing Fields” tells the story of homicide detectives who are trying to solve a serial killing spree in which the bodies are dumped in a marshy area nearby called “The Killing Fields.” Sam Worthington and Jeffrey Dean Morgan play the detectives, who try to balance their authority with the tenuous respect and trust they have with the locals.
The final result of “Texas Killing Fields” is deeply flawed, and it was doomed from the start. That is, it was doomed from the script stage. What is a relatively straightforward detective story is unnecessarily twisted and convoluted to the point of making little sense from scene to scene. Characters’ actions are often inexplicable, and we later find out they are connected to each other in ways that would have made more sense a half hour before.
Ever since 2009 when he came on strong with “Clash of the Titans” and “Avatar,” Sam Worthington seemed to be the next go-to guy for blockbusters. However, unless he’s starring in a big-budget 3D effects extravaganza, the guy is one of the most dull actors on the planet. His performance in “Texas Killing Fields” is beyond forgettable, almost inducing a level of amnesia on the viewer to the point that it clouds the mind.
Attempting to help Worthington along are other current bandwagon stars, including 2010’s it-girl Chloe Grace Moretz and 2011’s it-girl Jessica Chastain. While decent actors, they’re given nothing to work with in this movie, their performances falling flat.
But the most pervasive problem with “Texas Killing Fields” is the grim, dreary and humorless writing. While murder is nothing to laugh at, the characters are written in such a way that everyone’s existence is drab and without a shred of levity. In short, this makes depressing characters slogging through a depressing story for a depressing movie.
The only special feature included on the Blu-ray is a commentary track featuring director Ami Canaan Mann and writer Donald F. Ferrarone.