Starring Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch,
Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd are two darkly funny actors who have joined together for a new kind of film with director David Gordon Green, who appears to be retreating to his independent roots. Green’s films (Pineapple Express, All the Real Girls) are almost always about immaturity on some level, none more so than the worst film of his career, The Sitter, starring Jonah Hill. Prince Avalanche is a soft story that moves at the same pace as the characters move as they are painting the stripes on the road. It’s a buddy comedy, but presented in a careful, almost stage-like way aside from the fact that the film is dependent on its outdoor location.
It’s Bastrop Texas, 1988, a year after horrible wildfires destroyed homes and killed four people. Alvin (Rudd) has hired his girlfriend’s younger brother Lance (Hirsch) to work with him painting the yellow lines on a newly paved back road. The emotionally opposite duo argue about life, love and destiny as they are forced to stay out in the back country of Central Texas for five days at a time. The intellectual, nurturing Alvin finally loses his cool when Lance’s sister breaks up with him, which has a surprising effect on the men’s friendship.
Has really unique elements but such slow pacing
It’s nice to see a less frantic, more thoughtful Rudd, who seems stuck in the cycle of predictable or outrageous comedies. Hirsch (Into the Wild) has certainly been in better roles than this. The two have pretty good chemistry working and fighting together, which keeps some interest; but those expecting something stimulating out of this buddy movie won’t find it. The highlight of the film for me was Lance LeGault (who died in September 2012), who plays a crazy truck driver who brings the men alcohol and advice.
“Somehow, in your mind you truly do perceive yourself as a gentleman, don’t you?” Alvin says, poking fun at Lance, who only thinks about getting laid each weekend as the only life goal he has. Hirsch does get most of the funny scenes, especially when he returns from what was supposed to be a weekend of fun and cries when he tells Alvin it didn’t go so well. The biggest issue with the film is that everything happens under the surface and it makes it difficult to sit through a film that has really unique elements but such slow pacing. Although, I must say I still prefer this over Green’s mainstream work.
For all it’s positive qualities it’s just too withdrawn and slow to really enjoy.