A Well-Meaning But Flawed Border Western

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No Man’s Land is a well-meaning, however inherently flawed western drama. A Texas border rancher’s son flees into Mexico after unintentionally killing an immigrant boy. The movie makes an attempt to humanize the thorny problem of unlawful immigration from a number of factors of view. Its targets are admirable, however the narrative succumbs to contrivances and simplistic exposition. The reversal of fortune storyline turns into clichéd by means of unrealistic plot developments. That stated, No Man’s Land may be appreciated for its noble efforts.

No Man’s Land opens with the Greer household working diligently to corral their cattle. Bill Greer (Frank Grillo) has educated his two sons, Lucas (Alex MacNicoll) and Jackson (Jake Allyn), to be greater than competent horsemen. He and his spouse (Andie MacDowell) are particularly enthusiastic about Jackson’s future prospects. He’s been invited to check out for the New York Yankees minor league baseball staff. The Greers face a continuing wrestle on the ranch. Mexican immigrants trespass on their land to try to cross the border.

Gustavo (Jorge A. Jiménez) leads a small group of immigrants by means of the harmful “no man’s land” between Texas and Mexico. He’s accompanied by his sons and mom. A Christian with deep religion, Gustavo is fondly referred to as “the shepherd.” On a darkish evening, they encounter Bill and his sons as they seek for scattered cattle. A skirmish results in a devastating consequence. Jackson escapes into Mexico consumed by guilt. He’s chased by a Texas Ranger (George Lopez) looking for the reality behind the lethal incident.

Jake Allyn, who stars as Jackson, co-wrote the script. His brother, Conor Allyn, directs. Their aim is to ascertain empathy for the characters struggling on both sides of the border. Financial hardship has led to tragedy for 2 households. Jackson additionally learns the kindness of Mexicans as he’s helped a number of occasions on the run. He turns into the unlawful alien, determined for assist in a wierd and unknown setting. The Allyns have admirable intentions with their narrative. The downside is that No Man’s Land strays into unbelievable and admittedly patronizing territory. The complete second act is just too fantastical. The movie loses gravitas by repeatedly placing the protagonist in implausible conditions that profit him.

I’ve a significant problem with a key supporting character. George Lopez co-stars as Ramirez, a Texas Ranger who cannot communicate Spanish. The concept that he can be despatched into Mexico to retrieve Jackson is ludicrous. He has nice issue speaking together with his Mexican counterparts and the locals he needs to interrogate. This subplot is mindless by any means. I can solely guess that Jake Allyn did not wish to paint each Hispanic character with the identical ethic brush. This is a very massive misstep that additionally detracts from the seriousness of the first story arc.

Illegal immigration on the southern border is a firestorm of division on this nation. The Greers are usually not militia or “Minutemen”, however they’ve a proper to guard their property and livelihood. The Latin Americans fleeing poverty and violence are determined for a greater life. No Man’s Land embraces each factors of view whereas making an attempt to be considerate and teachable. The movie, on the entire, just isn’t profitable; however does convey its message of understanding. No Man’s Land would have benefited from a rewrite to pare down a number of characters. No Man’s Land is a manufacturing of Margate House Films. It may have a concurrent theatrical and premium video on demand launch from IFC Films on January 22nd.

The views and opinions expressed on this article are these of the writer and don’t essentially replicate the official coverage or place of Movieweb.

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