Rumble Through The Dark

Rumble Through The Dark

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Rumble Through The Dark, this is a Mississippi-set thriller starring Aaron Eckhart and Bella Thorne, directed by Graham and Parker Phillips. Going into this one with low expectations is understandable, as the directors only have one other full-length movie to their name, an unsatisfying mystery-thriller called The Bygone, and the two actors have not made many good films in recent years.

However, Rumble Through the Dark defies odds to make the cut. It tells a story of a worn-out boxer going by the name Jack Boucher (Aaron Eckhart) whose best days are long gone due to successive beatings that left him brain damaged.

Boucher (also known as The Butcher) is determined to amass enough money to stop his family home from being repossessed. When hunted down by a bounty hunter who makes away with much of his money owed partly to Big Momma Sweet (Marianne-Jeanne Baptist), the corrupt manager of an unlawful fight club who lent Jack some cash for his foster mother’s treatment he now wants it back. In order to recover his arrears, he accepts a different fight which could be life-threatening if another punch lands on him.

Somehow Annette (Bella Thorne), a carnival worker ends up having Jack’s money. After saving her from being assaulted they meet again and she decides to accompany him on his journey. She stumbles upon some faded diaries provoking her suspicions after reading them through that Jack may be her father thus another coincidence.

The latter plot point is somewhat ridiculous but it doesn’t ruin the movie entirely. This can be attributed to impressive performances from both leading actors that make us believe in their characters (and all what happens). They show pain beneath each character and even during most unrealistic parts of script they still give reasons why we should cheer for them.

Rumble Through The Dark isn’t exactly joyous since it describes two unlucky people who cannot catch any break. The movie is particularly dark because much of it is shot at night, perhaps to reflect the darkness within each character’s soul. It’s a tough watch at times and the mournful tone makes watching it depressing.

Nonetheless, there lies hope. Annette becomes Jack’s “angel” in order to help him surmount his struggles. In so doing, she finds a new lease of life away from her miserable existence as an exotic dancer in the carnival where she works. And as their relationship develops, better days might be ahead for both.

The Phillips brothers’ outstanding direction that sometimes echoes Terrence Malick’s work during the daytime flashbacks – scenes referring back to Jack’s childhood spent country living – adds value to this film. These misty ones are viewed in sharp contrast with those depicting a gloomy adult life of Jack Boucher.

The fight scenes which are worth mentioning are also bone-crunchingly brutal and expertly choreographed. This older, less nimble fighter is still able to fight his way through an opponent who is stronger and bigger than him in the climactic scene of Jack fighting in a caged arena.

Rumble Through the Dark is a long movie; it has a simple story that’s stretched out to fill almost two hours of running time. However, for patient viewers, this does reasonably lead to a satisfying conclusion that makes Jack’s redemptive journey through the darkness worthwhile. However, you might want to watch something lighthearted afterwards to clear your mind of all its blood, dirt and grime.

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