Colson Baker, finest generally known as Machine Gun Kelly, pushes ever additional ahead along with his performing profession through One Way (now on Hulu), a low-budget, almost-single-location crime-thriller through which he performs a small-time prison who spends the overwhelming majority of the 90-minute film slowly bleeding to dying on a bus. Sounds positively SCINTILLATING, doesn’t it? MGK’s display screen profession highlights embrace taking part in Tommy Lee in The Dirt, being Tenth-billed in Bird Box, assembly present squeeze Megan Fox whereas filming Midnight in the Switchgrass and co-directing and starring in stoner comedy Good Mourning – and perhaps One Way, which has us questioning if he can withhold the temptation to quote Mr. Orange at some point of the film: I’M F—IN’ DYING HERE! So does he convincingly painting a determined man within the midst of croaking from a good old school intestine shot? Let’s discover out.
ONE WAY: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
The Gist: DREA DE MATTEO BLINKS IN SLOW MOTION, an motion that isn’t insignificant. While her eyes ssssslloowwwwwwlyyyy open and shut and open once more, Freddy (MGK) runs very very quick away from her. She performs Vic, a boss-ass gangster. She desires Freddy’s head to be lifeless. He simply stole a load of cocaine and half a million bucks from her. She trusted him, and he dedicated an unforgivable act of betrayal. His full-panic scamper and slackjaw/stupid-haircut combo provides off some severe Spud from Trainspotting vibes. The cops are in every single place however he dodges them and makes it to the bus station and buys a ticket and boards. The bus driver (Thomas Francis Murphy) doesn’t appear to assume twice that a sweaty and raveled fella who all however screams I’M A PETTY CROOK ON THE RUN boards with suspicious carryon baggage and a limp and a nervous-and-shifty look has boarded the automobile, however that is Florida, so one assumes roughly half of his passengers are like this.
Our intrepid driver additionally doesn’t discover that stated passenger is bleeding throughout his bus. Freddy reaches into his jacket and pulls out his hand and it’s coated with the pink stuff. He took a bullet, and it’s nonetheless in there, poisoning his guts. He writhes and grimaces. He almost passes out, too many occasions. Sometimes he hallucinates and sees himself, tall and robust and wholesome and with hair neatly combed, encouraging himself to not quit on himself. He calls his skeevy accomplice JJ (Luis Da Silva) to race forward to the subsequent station to decide him up. He calls his ex/child mama, Christina (Meagan Holder), an ER nurse who would possibly give you the option to patch him up, and she or he hangs up on him as a result of he’s a weasel, and in addition as a result of, for some purpose, she’s answering her telephone on the identical time she’s hurriedly wheeling some poor struggling affected person down the hall whereas different medical personnel shout 30 CCS OF (insert medicine identify right here) STAT and different hospital cliches. Not a nice time to area a name from an unknown quantity on a burner telephone, Christina, sheesh.
Of course, Freddy isn’t the one passenger on the bus. Up there may be a pregnant girl touring alone. Back there, a couple of Black males who eye him suspiciously. In the row forward is Rachel (Storm Reid), who doesn’t appear to discover Freddy’s moaning and bleeding and that his fingers are all bloody and his telephone is bloody when she asks if she will borrow his telephone. Why? She desires to textual content the man named “Smokie” she’s touring to meet. And thus ignited is Freddy’s conscience: We see his estranged daughter in flashbacks, and Rachel certainly reminds him of her. He senses that Rachel is youthful than she says, and that she’s precariously shut to falling into the clutches of a pervy predator. Meanwhile, issues with JJ go south, so he scrolls by means of his contacts to “ASSHOLE” and calls his father (Kevin Bacon!) for assist, and his previous man is a actual piece of labor. Also in the meantime, one other passenger boards, Will (Travis Fimmel), and he looks as if a good man in his dork-brown footwear and beard, however we all know higher, don’t we? This is Florida, and no person boards a nighttime liner drenched in persistently flickery and/or pink lighting in the midst of a pounding rainstorm if their vacation spot isn’t tribulation, tragedy or bother.
What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: One Way is a wannabe mix of Reservoir Dogs and the Safdies’ we’re-here assertion Good Time, with among the wow-he’s-making-a-lot-of-phone-calls-isms of extremely suspenseful all-talk/no-action drama Locke.
Performance Worth Watching: Nobody’s going to anoint MGK with an Oscar anytime quickly, however he ain’t half unhealthy right here, particularly as soon as his character’s motivation for stealing the products is revealed, and exhibits he isn’t a lifeless coronary heart in a lifeless world.
Memorable Dialogue: Florida bus driver deserves a elevate: “I cope with degenerates such as you each f—in’ day!”
Sex and Skin: None.
Our Take: He offers with degenerates like that on daily basis, however apparently cares not that Freddy is leaving bloody handprints throughout his bus. Call a cop or an ambulance, Mr. Bus Driver Man! There are occasions to shut up and thoughts your individual enterprise and there are occasions to meddle, and that is the time to meddle! Sure looks as if a matter of life or dying! But if he did, he’d get in the way in which of the plot, which contrives to ship wicked-cruel twists and moments of nice illogic, and he’d get in the way in which of the funds, which doesn’t need to add any pointless, non-nondescript places to the comparatively slim parameters of the manufacturing.
But One Way works nearly fairly acceptably effectively inside its barely too-noticeable limitations, and please notice the subdued enthusiasm of my tone. Director Andrew Baird compensates for the movie’s direct-to-VOD modesties with an abundance of conspicuous lighting and shaky-cam closeups, giving it a quasi-artsiness that makes an attempt to replicate the Safdie Bros.’ visible acumen through depth, nerve-gnawing suspense and skeezy, harmful late-night vibes. The movie by no means reaches that aim thanks to the script, which is extra discuss than motion, with blah dialogue, skinny characters and a too-familiar crook-finds-his-conscience (even earlier than he was bleeding to dying!) arc.
So it’s not about nothing, essentially, which is one thing, however is it sufficient? Not actually, as a result of MGK’s agonizing slow-death teeth-clenching and inner ethical wrestling grows wearisome by the midway level, even with Kevin Bacon turning up to flip over a large family-dysfunction rock and goose the situation with a little handlebar-mustached nastiness. Nobody will accuse One Way of being greater than a style train with the occasional little bit of convincing performing from MGK, however when the rubber hits the street, it simply doesn’t ship the products in a viscerally or psychologically satisfying method.
Our Call: One Way is merely an OK automobile for MGK. It has a second or three, however in the end you must simply SKIP IT.
John Serba is a freelance author and movie critic primarily based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read extra of his work at johnserbaatlarge.com.