I watched this movie late last night. "No Country for Old Men" is just as dark and enigmatic as when I saw it in its theatrical release. On this second viewing I was able to spend more time focusing on some of the great characters in the film, based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name. Now that I have seen Javier Bardem in other projects, I realize how good his Oscar-winning performance was as Anton Chigurh. Chigurh, the mysterious hit man has a strange way of doing business and an unusual array of weaponry.
This is the story of a west Texas blue collar man who stumbles upon a drug deal gone bad.
He discovers the million dollars to be used as the buy money and tries
to run away with it. He is pursued by Chigurh, as well as sheriff Ed
Tom Bell, who as the title implies is out of his league in a age where
the crimes are more heinous and the weapons are bigger and badder.
This movie is part film noir, part Western, with a little bit of comedy
mixed in, such as when Carlson Wells (Woody Harrelson) is brought in to
clean up the mess and asked about Chigurh. "How dangerous is he?" asks
the drug lord. "Compared to what? The Bubonic plague?" deadpans Wells.
Native Texan Tommy Lee Jones plays Bell with just the right touch of
country smarts and frustration at the losing the war on drugs. Josh Brolin is terrific as the Vietnam vet trying to outsmart and outrun the bad guys. Ironically, at no point in the film do all three appear on the screen at the same time. This was one of the fact pointed out in the 24 minute making of featurette that comes with the Blue-Ray version I saw.
There is also a shorter piece on working with the writer-director Coen brothers and one about Lee's character Bell. The dry, desolate Texas backdrop really jumps out of the screen in the Blue-Ray version, but the extras are the same in the regular DVD as well. My rating - a home run - three and half stars. Had there been a director's commentary it would have been a grand slam.