Texas Killing Fields (TKF) tells the story of a serial-killer plaguing the deep-southern Texas town of Texas city, abandoning his victims in "The Killing Fields" a barren stretch of bayou that used to be an oilfield but is better known for its historic massacre of native Americans. Detectives Mike Sounder (Sam Worthington - Avatar
) & Brian Heigh (Jeffrey Dean Morgan - The Losers
) find one of the victims and soon begin to connect the dots and realise they are on to a serial-killers trail. Meanwhile, abused & neglected daughter Luanne (ChloŽ Moretz - Kick-Ass
) spends as much time away from home as possible, but will this make her a prime target for the killer?
TKF had me interested from the off; I mean, that's a pretty good cast right there, but I was worried how it had reached DVD and I had heard literally nothing about it and I keep my ear to the ground - nonetheless, the start is solid, the introductory scene has no credits over the chilling scene of an abandoned car, lights on, in the middle of the killing-fields, so you know the director - Ami Canaan Mann (recognise the surname? It's Michael Mann's daughter!) - wants you to take this seriously and drink in the atmosphere. However, after 20 or so minutes of intrigue, things started to get very obvious; of course, one of the detectives is in the process of a divorce and guess what? His soon-to-be-ex-wife works the jurisdiction he needs to access to find the bodies of his victims...
Morgan plays the religious-family-man-with-a-haunted-past position well, but Worthington is his usual aggressive neanderthalesque-character. Moretz holds her role adequately but I honestly felt that her acting was a little flat at times (is repeatedly glancing at the character who is speaking moodily even acting?) The real let-down was the killer - inexplicably called "Rhino" played by Stephen Graham (Tommy from Snatch
) who is about 5'4" and has not even a passing resemblance to a Rhino in stature nor personality - his motives are left completely unexplained and to top it off, he has about 4 or 5 lines due to his inability to pull off a convincing Texan accent. At one point, he positively sounds cockney! It is obvious Mann has trimmed his lines back to a bare minimum to stop the accent breaking through.
We have a significant amount of time devoted to local reprobates who drive around in a classic Plymouth, pimp Levon & his muscle Rule (John Eyez & Jason Clarke respectively) but that is a story thread that goes absolutely nowhere and ends abruptly and completely inexplicably. Quite frankly, this still has me wound up as I would like to know what happened to them after the pointless minutes devoted to their character development!!
Extras: A directors commentary (*yawn*), the theatrical trailer and a cast & crew featurette.
So all in all, very dark (Danny Boyle bailed on this project due to how dark it was), poorly explained narrative, slow-pacing, dead-end plot-threads, unnecessarily-included martial strife and a really poor ending that feels like a real gut-shot after devoting 105 minutes to this dross. Zodiac
-wannabe, but falls far short.