"Frailty": Blu-ray Movie Review

11/22/2009 Posted by Admin

By Christopher Smith

In spite of an unnerving first half that features an understated performance from Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton's thriller is as superficial as a bruise.

Told in flashback by McConaughey to an FBI agent, the film is about a single father identified only as Dad (Paxton), who wakes one evening to find God glowing in the center of his bowling trophy. Instead of offering Dad the gift of a perfect game, God offers Dad something potentially more rewarding--the divine order to kill those demons living in his West Texas neighborhood.

Thrilled by the prospect, Dad wakes his two sons--12-year-old Fenton (Matt O'Leary) and 9-year-old Adam (Jeremy Sumpter)--to tell them the good news. And it’s here that the ugliness starts. So intent is Dad that his sons connect with God as he has, he insists that they join him in the murders, a gruesome task that involves collecting those people on Dad's divine list, taking them back to the family's newly constructed dungeon, and then wielding an ax named Otis into their heads, throats, arms and legs. The wild-card is Fenton, and he wants none of it, which generates fireworks.

While there's no denying that there is physical power when Dad swings his ax--and emotional power when he turns to his sons and orders them to do the same--by the end, what's also clear is that "Frailty" has no interest in these boys beyond exploiting them for a few thrills. We don’t learn anything about them beyond what serves the plot--or the ridiculous twists that come at the end--which are so stupid, they seem a more appropriate place for Dad to bury his ax.

Rated R. Grade: C-

View the trailer for "Frailty" below.

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