Director: Jeremy Saulnier (2016)
Plastered with gob, guts, groupies and guns, a punk band are torn apart by more than creative differences in this excoriating neo nazi thriller.
Suitably nihilist in attitude and stripped back in construction, it’s a visceral mosh pit of strip lighting, stanley knifes, and shotguns.
The Ain’t Rights are a penniless four piece band who have run out of money and luck. So they accept a gig in a nightclub in rural Portland where the clientele is described as boot and braces. The decor is confederate flags and swastikas.
When the band witness a crime they barricade themselves inside the Green Room backstage hospitality area, a grim concrete box with only one exit.
Pat is the band’s reluctant spokesman who’s played with nervous energy by Anton Yelchin, best known as Chekov from Star Trek (2009).
He attempts to negotiate with Darcy, the owner of the club while waiting for the police to arrive. Fellow Star Trek alumnus Patrick Stewart brings gravitas to his role and projects a majestic menace while whispering assurances from behind a locked door.
It’s noticeable how well he and another Brit Imogen Poots under play their lines to great effect. She plays Amber, a bystander caught up in events.
This is a welcome return to form for an engaging talent who has made some recent poor choices in Need For Speed (2014) and A Long Way Down (2014).
A smart script makes the characters endearing enough for us to root for them and peppers the dialogue with comic pop culture references.
Discussion about expenditure and fire hazards ground the events in the real world and hints at a critique of capitalism exploiting political foot soldiers for its own ends.
The band want out and Darcy wants them dead. The music and mayhem are turned up to 11.