Mob Land

Mob Land poster

Trinity Pines, Georgia, a small town defined by poverty where little happens and nothing changes, no distractions other than football, the racing track and hunting in the deep forest and no prospects for improvement, mechanic Shelby Conners keeping his progressive illness concealed from his wife Caroline and their daughter and trying to make ends meet in a dead-end job.

Caroline’s brother Trey attempting to recruiting Shelby to be wheelman in a heist which he promises will make them rich with no problems, predictably it goes badly leaving bodies behind and Shelby’s uncle, Sheriff Bodie Davis, asking questions while philosophising hitman Clayton Minor is already closer, engaged to retrieve the missing cash and ensure the guilty parties clearly understand why they must never repeat their transgression.

Mob Land; a police chase ends in burning cars and unidentified bodies.

The debut feature of director Nicholas Maggio from a script co-written with Rob Healy, Mob Land is built around the endemic weariness of the town built on “money, pills and cussin’,” where the flow of the former is upwards and the only thing the ordinary folk can hope for is a decent headstone when they die, Shelby proud of having provided such for his own parents and oblivious to how many more deaths are to come to his neighbourhood.

Starring Evil Dead’s Shiloh Fernandez as Shelby and Space Truckers’ Stephen Dorff as Clayton, they form the core of the film, one carrying the burden of a unconscionably naïve bad decision and finding himself beholden to killers who threaten his wife and child as leverage, the other applying the precise pressure needed to get the job done without pushing Shelby so far that he will snap, instead dragging him deeper into complicity until the only one way out is in.

Mob Land; Trey (Kevin Dillon) tries to persuade his brother-in-law Shelby (Shiloh Fernandez) to join him in a life of crime.

With The Blob’s Kevin Dillon as Trey, his plan so short-sighted as to just hope that nothing goes wrong and nobody recognises him, on their trail is Hairspray’s John Travolta as Bodie, Sheriff Two-Steps-Behind who never calls forensics to the scene of a murder, uses social calls to follow up on leads and apparently has one single other officer as backup, meaning if an emergency call comes through they are forced to abandon their stakeout and leave the coast clear for another witness to be silenced.

A portrait of listless, frustrated, distracted men, Mob Land is edited to emphasise the lack of direction and focus with tension and twists among the victims, more concerned with cars than characters who never feel more than sketches, staring into the middle distance in search of meaning and purpose as though to imply deep feeling before an unconvincing change of heart too late to redeem anyone and a final shot which takes too long to arrive.

Mob Land is on general release from Friday 25th August

Mob Land; reluctant partners, Shelby (Shiloh Fernandez) follows where Clayton (Stephen Dorff) leads.



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