A battle royal is brewing between the worlds of the white townsfolk and the Native Americans who live in the hills in the Ramapo Mountains of New York. It’s slow-building and multi-layered, a mix of cultural fear, addiction, and violence. Fans of HBO’s Banshee, the Christian Bale/Woody Harrelson thriller Out of the Furnace, or Longmire will appreciate Sundance’s The Red Road, and find themselves gripped by its innate tensions.
Martin Henderson’s cop, Harold Jensen, works hard to keep the peace, at his job and at home. But his emotionally unstable and alcoholic wife, Jean (Julianne Nicholson), makes things complicated – and that’s before she accidentally runs over a Native American young man in the woods. Soon, Jensen is tangled up with a tribal roughneck and drug dealer, Jason Momoa’s Philip Kopus. We’re sure things won’t go well.
It helps that Momoa give off ‘that’ vibe. The one he’s cultivated with Game of Thrones and Conan, a powerful, coiled weapon about to explode. [I think that’s part of why he’s been cast as Aquaman in the next DC hero flick- Aquaman is no quiet, happy hero in the comics. Sorry, Superfriends.] How will things work when Jensen presses the case of a disappeared college student? How hard will Kopus ‘press’ back?
Already, the show is filming its second season – and this one is only six episodes long. It’s pretty gripping, well-shot, and powerfully scripted by Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners, Contraband) [although Josh Whedon’s brother, Zach, gets one of the episode credits]. It’s terse, with darkness in the background of the shots and in the terror we can feel coming. The nearly balanced opposition of these two cultures doesn’t stay pent-up for long.
I’m still feeling my way through, but so far, so good. rating: borrow it