Quick Hit: Visceral and hard hitting, with a strong performance from Anton Yelchin, this movie will leave you thinking.
It’s a shame that we lose so many young actors. The events surrounding Yelchin’s death were rather confusing, and everyone seemed to just accept that a terrible thing had happened. There was a recall about a shifter, and now his parents are sueing. I hope that they do end up getting some punitive damages, because how tragic and unexpected that loss was. I’ll get off my soap box now and get on with the film.
Green Room follows a hard-up punk rock band, the Ain’t Rights, as they find themselves in a bad, bad situation. After losing a gig, they travel hard to a backwoods bar that is run by some hard dudes (turns out, they’re Nazis). After they play their gig, purposely antagonizing the Nazis attending the bar, they are leaving when they realize they left a phone. Returning to the “Green Room” – the room where the band prepares prior to going onstage – their bassist Pat (Yelchin) sees a murder has occurred. He begins calling the cops, and the Nazis quickly contain everyone in the room and lock the door.
“We’re not keeping you here, you’re just staying,” one of the Nazis says. This line perfectly illustrates some of the weary, raw humor that is present throughout Green Room. The film is great at slipping in humor at points you don’t expect – one of the great running gags is your “desert island band”. It’s really good when directors can make a movie that is horrific, while still giving the audience a mental break with a joke every once in a while. This is very John Carpenter like, and it’s easy to see that this was inspired (at least in part) by something like Assault on Precinct 13.
The ultra-violence in this film needs to be kept in mind before watching however. Machetes, box-cutters, bullets, and teeth all pierce human skin here. The effects are obviously devastating, and while the camera does not linger for long on these injuries, you feel them as an audience member. Some of this may be because, unlike some movies about blood and gore, those injured do not immediately die. Instead, we see them moan, scream, and limp around in pain.
I almost forgot to mention what was one of the most obvious selling points in the movie: Patrick Stewart is the head Nazi. This is intriguing on its own, because it’s so against type. And ya know what? He owns it. The impressive things is not that he plays it differently then he usually does, but that he is allowed to let his good, soft-natured, Mr. Rodgersness turn into something horrific. Imagine if Professor X could walk, but instead of just wanting to help you, he was as blood-thirsty as Sabertooth. A bit unnerving, yes?
I really liked the family feel of the movie. No, not in the sense that this movie is for families, but the fact that this movie is about families. The band is obviously close to each other. We have no idea how long they have been on the road together, but their comraderie is shown briefly in the beginning: they are brought together by their struggles. We see the family element is beginning to be unraveled in the Nazi world – different people are attempting to leave the group, and Stewart is the father figure that is just trying to keep everyone home. You see an interesting parallel between the two “families” and it makes for a better film than some directors would have made. Instead of being focused on the tears in the body, we are instead focused on the tears in the bonds of family.
I enjoyed Green Room tremendously. It was fast paced, and constantly had my heart beating fast. I was literally on the edge of my seat at times, and I’m going to give Green Room an “A”.
For more on this movie, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"