Crime-thrillers are a common form of cinematic entertainment. Stories of missing people and/or murder seem to attract many an audience. Texas Killing Fields is no exception. It has all the bells and whistles of a predictable, melodramatic whodunnit. It features a rather solid cast led by Avatar’s Sam Worthington. The action and mystery elements make Texas Killing Fields a somewhat riveting and suspenseful yarn and it is now out on Blu-ray so you can now experience the film for yourself.
Inspired by true events, Texas Killing Fields follows the story of a string of unsolved murders in an area of the Texas bayous known as “The Killing Fields”. Two detectives are assigned to the case, local Mike Souder (Sam Worthington) and New York transplant Brian Heigh (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the majority of the film focuses on these two detectives attempting to break the case.
Along the way, Detectives Souder and Heigh encounter a bevy of colorful characters which include pimps, prostitutes, drug addicts and killers. An innocent young girl named Anne (Chloe Grace Moretz) gets caught up in the craziness and it is then up to Detectives Souder and Heigh to save her from this horrible world of crime and torment.
Released in a limited fashion and entered into a number of film festivals, Texas Killing Fieldsbarely saw the light of day. The cast is pretty strong with pretty boy Sam Worthington leading the charge. His character’s partner is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) and he bears a strikingly odd resemblance to Javier Bardem. Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) is great as the emotionally abused Anne. Jessica Chastain (The Help) rounds out the cast nicely as another detective working on the case.
Director Ami Canaan Mann (Friday Night Lights TV series) has helmed a rather gritty and absorbing drama here. Texas Killing Fields is a well-executed thriller with many appealing elements. The script is tight and so is the camerawork. The chase sequences are sure to get your adrenaline pumping and the fight scenes are choreographed like a staged street fight. The shaky camerawork makes some the scenes looks like higher-budget episode of Cops. This is of course is meant as a complement.
Sam Worthington shares the screen with Jeffrey Dean Morgan and both of their characters do a fine job in the Texan mystery however the prize for better actor would have to go to Morgan. Sure, the Australian Worthington has a pretty face but his Southern accent is pretty bad and he needs to dial it back on the tough guy attitude. Morgan is more talented, plain and simple. His performance is genuine and he isn’t over-the-top (i.e. Worthington).
It’s a shame Texas Killing Fields didn’t have a wider release. It has many qualities of a potentially successful crime-drama. Morgan is terrific and so is Moretz. These actors are somewhat underrated, the former looking like Javier Bardem’s clone so they might get mixed up with some casting agents.
If you like gripping mysteries filled with seedy characters and righteous cops, then Texas Killing Fields is right up your alley. It has all the elements of an exciting crime tale only this one comes with Southern accents, one of which is a pretty bad one coming from Worthington but don’t let that change your mind when deciding to view this engaging film. It is now out on Blu-ray, so if you are interested in seeing Jeffrey Dean Morgan deliver a top notch performance, cool chase scenes, imaginative action sequences, then check this movie out. It isn’t your typical action-drama. You will be surprised and that is a rarity in the film world this day and age.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
There is only one bonus feature for Texas Killing Fields and it is a feature-length audio commentary with director Ami Canaan and writer Donald F. Ferrarone, joy.