Hobo With a Shotgun Movie Review
Written by James Ferguson
Movie released by Magnet Releasing
Directed by Jason Eisener
Written by John Davies
2011, 86 Minutes, Not Rated
Released on May 6th, 2011
Rutger Hauer as Hobo
Gregory Smith as Slick
Molly Dunsworth as Abby
Brian Downey as The Drake
Nick Bateman as Ivan
All too often lately filmmakers try to turn their movie into something it's not. They try too hard or strive for some artistic vision in a movie filled with dick and fart jokes. Then comes a movie like Hobo with a Shotgun. There is no doubt at all regarding what this movie is about or what it entails. There's a hobo and he's got a shotgun. Prepare to have a great time.
The film starts out with a drifter (Rutger Hauer) riding the rails into Scum Town. The place is ruled by The Drake (Brian Downey), a mob boss who loves to put on a show and keep the townspeople in fear. The hobo walks through the area and grows disgusted with the filth and corruption that runs rampant through these streets. When he decides to stand up and do something about it, he's beaten and thrown out with the trash. He's helped by Abby (Molly Dunsworth), a hooker with a heart of gold, who gives him a place to stay for the night.
The next morning, the hobo heads over to the pawn shop ready to buy a lawn mower. Yes, he's in a city and wants to buy a lawn mower. To him this tool represents some semblance of a normal life and if he can just get that mower, maybe things will be a little bit better for him. This idea changes when some thugs burst in and threaten a woman and her baby. The hobo turns around and finds a shotgun. Thus begins his one man quest to clean up the streets...with the blood of the criminals that fill the town. His journey eventually puts him up against The Drake and his two sons who have put a hit out on him.
This film has all the makings of a classic grindhouse flick right down to the logo and the "Filmed in Technicolor" stamp in the opening credits. The colors are bright and vibrant. The violence is over the top. It's a love letter to the genre.
The script is pretty basic and there are moments that are absolutely hilarious. This isn't unintentional. It's refreshing to see a film where the creators don't take themselves or their work too seriously. They know what they're making and they're clearly having fun with it.
The actors are also enjoying themselves as they probably don't get to portray characters like these on regular jobs. Hauer's Hobo is fearless, pitiful, and at times, inspiring. He goes through a wide range of emotions throughout the film, but you're able to identify with his need for normalcy in this mad world. Downey steals any of the scenes he's in and he's definitely a showman, calling all of the nearby residents to watch as he makes an example of his victims. Meanwhile, The Drake's kids, Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (newcomer Nick Bateman), are trying to carry on in their father's footsteps by committing even more heinous crimes. By the way, Bateman looks like a cross between a young Tom Cruise and Brandon Routh. This is perfect for his smarmy-yet-dimwitted, character always gung-ho for a bit of violence.
There is not an ounce of pretension in Hobo with a Shotgun. It's an hour and a half of gore-filled, brightly-colored entertainment. What started as a three-minute trailer to enter into Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse contest is now a feature-length film ready to take on Hollywood. I don't know if the world is ready for this movie, but this was easily the most fun I've had at a theater in years.