Dank Denis Villeneuve''s Dune, the Sicario films, and his new Amazon Prime series Outer Range, Josh Brolin starred in the Coen brothers'' dark Western thriller No Country for Old Men, which won the best picture Oscar, and surpassed Brolin as one of his favorites actors.
Brolin''s performance in the No Country for Old Men show is due to his role as a charismatic and vulnerable anti-hero who is constantly on the run and incapable to escape evil killers and greed. His role also includes a bit of humor amidst all the drama and bloodshed that is on the scene.
While Sergio Leone''s The Man With No Name trilogy starring Clint Eastwood enlivened numerous spaghetti Westerns (as well as modern action films like the John Wick franchise), the Coen brothers crafted a Western picture in which good does not defeat evil, and there are always consequences for one''s actions. This film enlivened other multi-genre Westerns like Logan in terms of bloody action, cruel villains, and older and wounded heroes who seek redemption but don''t have
A simple man named Llewelyn Moss (Brolin), an ex-oldier and welder who hunts for deer one day, and finds a bunch of dead bodies around the desert, along with a briefcase filled with money. Of course, Moss is taking the money, but soon realizes that drugs is also used by other criminals and drug dealers, including a deadly and dangerous assassin named Anton Chigurh. He is also aware that crime is increasing in Texas.
While this Western may be slow-paced and quiet due to the absence of a soundtrack or score, this makes the film even more eerie and suspenseful because one might think the plot is predictable, but there are challenges and turns that will frustrate viewers. Another interesting feature is that all three protagonists never meet each other face-to-face, except for a few moments when one character is about to kill.
Brolin offers a relaxed and powerful performance as a dreadful man who is confident in winning over the money and killing any villain who gets in his way. However, his vulnerability ends up with him because he gets hurt a few times and is forced to patch up wounds and move to different hotel rooms.
Due to Moss'' stern demeanor and tough-guy personality, Brolin is a versatile marksman who skillfully shoots various firearms, from shotguns to hunting rifles. He is also a shady shootout with Anton, who takes time to get the other first and is severely wounded.
A couple of funny moments include conversations with Moss and his wife, Carla Jean, and how he tells her not to worry so much about splitting up and leaving home. There''s also a scene in which an elderly lady in charge of a motel asks Moss which room he wants based on bed size, even if he''s traveling alone.
This arrangement of road films like Easy Rider and From Dusk Till Dawn based on Moss on the run with money and trying to keep his distance from the cops and other dangerous threats is unheard. However, unlike the noise in those scenes, this Western from the Coen brothers has the soothing feel of a picture like Terrence Malick''s Badlands owing to the mix of elegant landscape and the brutal nature of murder and mayhem.
Although Brolin''s protagonist is thought to be capable of crashing down, many argue that Moss is a very flawed hero because he took money that wasn''t necessary for him, putting his life in jeopardy, as well as his wife and her mother''s safety, even though he died near the end of the film, confirming that his journey is meaningless. Even though Carla Jean and her mother are also killed, none of the characters'' deaths is explicitly shown.
If Moss is the tragic and conflicted hero, Anton is the antagonist who personifies the devil, brutally killing anyone involved with the money, and (like Harvey Two-Face) uses a coin toss to determine people''s fate. The most dangerous part about Anton is that he is patient and patient. No matter how long he takes to track people down, or if he gets hurt, he will complete his assignment one way or another.
Both Brolin and Bardem both played Dune, but they will not forget their roles in the sequel. However, this is the Western that led both actors to a new career high, and thanks to this dark thriller, Brolin has continued to play more harrowing and tough characters (like a shady CIA agent Matt Graver in Sicario). No Country for Old Men is a beautiful and gloomy Western that exhibits human cruelty.