Macon Blair is crazy and a tramp as the shell-shocked hobo with a shotgun seeking vengeance. His beginnings as a bearded vagrant are brushed over too quickly, but Blair is excellent, a wide-eyed bag of nerves nevertheless determined to deliver justice.
Saulnier directs with a sharp eye for a smart shot, and he is great at shooting the tense, violent scenes – such as the most gruelling act of on-screen self-surgery since 127 Hours. Their very inclusion, however, is debatable. Several times, the film explodes into an implausible bloodbath lent no meaning thanks to the anonymity of the victims and the unexplored nature of Blair’s motives.
Blair is soulful and compelling as he slaughters and kills, but the weak script means he’s fighting a losing battle. Tense and intense, Blue Ruin provides quick thrills but nothing more.
CAST: Macon Blair, Amy Hargreaves, Sidné Andrson, Devin Ratray
DIRECTOR: Jeremy Saulnier
WRITER: Jeremy Saulnier
SYNOPSIS: A mysterious outsider’s quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.