Booster

SXSW 2012 film review

Booster

Director & Screenwriter: Matt Ruskin
When Simon’s brother is arrested for armed robbery, he is asked to commit a string of similar crimes in an attempt to get his brother acquitted.
Cast: Nico Stone, Adam DuPaul, Seymour Cassel, Kristin Dougherty, Brian McGrail, Philip D. Herbert
(World Premiere)

Film Synopsis (from SXSW.com)

WHO’S IT FOR? If you really liked the moments of Drive that didn’t feature fast cars or skull-crushing, you’ll appreciate the aura of Booster. Don’t dive into Booster expecting it to be another action-filled foray into Boston’s world of crime.

OVERALL

Booster is a riveting contemplative drama about doing one really bad thing. Most movies (like The Town) rush to the “good stuff,” and such film attitudes would end Booster in twenty minutes. Entrenched in a grim reality, this movie weighs the options of an event that becomes just as disturbing for us as its main character.

Nico Stone gives a notable performance as Simon, the man with a decision to make. Watching Stone, it was hard to not consider him a smaller version of Tom Hardy, with a Ryan Gosling-like sincerity. Though he appears scrappy, violence is nothing natural to him at all. Stone gives a crystal clear portrayal of a kid who grew up to be a man in the wrong shoes.

For a movie set in Boston, Booster deserves credit for not being self-conscious about its location credibility. It doesn’t feel the need to wear its geographical location on a metaphorical sleeve. Booster uses its environment with color and dedication, but doesn’t hammer regional accents on the audience, or consistently name-drop places to show its credibility. The most focused on location in Booster might be Boston’s Logan Airport, which is used effectively as a sign of the permanent change in the area of which Simon and his family grew up.

While parts of Booster might blur together in time, the ending to this movie is absolutely unforgettable. With no spoilers to be divulged, I will say that it’s risky but incredibly perfect. For the person with simply wrong expectations about this movie, it will be the final nail in the coffin if leading-up events don’t offer personal money’s worth. For those who have stuck with Booster through its slow burning story, pondering the reality of such a “do-and-die” situation, the final moments will feel victorious.

FINAL SCORE: 7/10

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