Starring Noah Taylor (seen earlier this year in Richard Ayoade’s superb debut feature Submarine), Amanda Fuller and Marc Senter, Red White & Blue (2010) is an unconventional revenge-thriller from British director Simon Rumley, who brought us the rather disappointing The Living and the Dead (2006) and Strong Language (2000).
Each night, Erica (Fuller) goes out to bars to pick up men rather than sleep alone. After a host of sexual partners (more than she cares to remember) she meets Nate (Taylor), who unlike the other men in her life seems to want to take care of her. As the story unfolds, Erica comes to learn the danger in trusting so deeply in strangers.
Although Rumley’s latest effort possesses an intriguing plot full of some unexpected twists, it lacks a strong script with which to back itself up. Senter is truly disappointing as Franki – one of Erica’s returning exes – at least for the first half of Red White & Blue; this is partly due to the fact that the structure of the story jars somewhat half an hour into the film, which certainly doesn’t help his character.
The disjointed nature of Red White & Blue is incredibly frustrating, as the performances from both Noah Taylor and Amanda Fuller are of a high standard. Taylor brings an incredibly disturbed and mysterious quality to Nate, whilst Fuller plays the emotionally-damaged Erica perfectly.
The film’s focus on working class America is intriguing, and Rumley manages to pick up on some interesting themes (what happens when our lives are put into extraordinarily distressing circumstances). However, all credit for any of the film’s minor successes should go to Noah Taylor, and his convincingly disturbing performance as Nate. Ultimately, Red White & Blue is a disappointing film that offers so much in the beginning, yet leaves you deeply unsatisfied by its dénouement.