A punk band finds itself trapped backstage in one of the least salubrious bars in movie history (Rick’s Café, this ain’t) by a group of violent neo-Nazis.
What I really like about GREEN ROOM was the tension.
Yes, violence does eventually (and brutally) happen, but I’m too old to be excited by vicarious movie violence. For me where the film really excelled, where it had me gripped, was in the staging of the suspense. In the scenes where two men stand either side of a locked door and try to negotiate their positions – a discussion made fraught because one side is convinced that the other is lying and determined to kill them.
Of course, one of these negotiators, the more dangerous of the negotiators, is played by Patrick Stewart, his voice somewhere between a whisper and a growl. I’ll be honest, going in I had feared that the redneck accent would trip him up – that I’d be smacked out of the story by the incongruousness of a scuzzy redneck speaking like the RSC – but really, he’s too good for that. Such was his scary intensity of his performance that it swiftly stopped being in any way an issue.
As much as I liked the first half though, this isn’t going to turn into a rave. When it came out at the cinema, there were a number of absolutely glowing reviews, and as much as I liked it I’m not in their camp, as for me the firm started to fall apart towards the ending.
MILD SPOILER ALERT: I couldn’t really believe that after Pat’s injury, which basically sees his hand almost taken off, he could then – with aid of duct tape – become a guitar playing Rambo.
More importantly, and as I said, what I realty liked about it was the tension, so when it left the room and became more violent and threw in some knife-wielding would-be thrills, then it did lose something for me. However, even then, it didn’t go so egregiously off the rails for me to throw popcorn at the screen.
But to finish on that note is unfair, it’s well-acted, well-staged, with a great (possibly unique?) scenario – which may have made some missteps – but was still, for a lot of its length, compulsive viewing.