“God seemed fit to put you in my path and I’m gonna cure you of your wickedness.”
The Sundance Film Festival runs 10-days. The first weekend is usually a madhouse, but when Wednesday comes around – everyone starts to become a walking zombie. Living off 3 hours of sleep a night can only get you so far. It got me to Black Snake Moan, Craig Brewer’s follow-up to Hustle & Flow.
After discovering Rae (Christina Ricci) knocked out in the middle of the road, Lazarus (Samuel L Jackson) chains her up inside his home in an effort to cure her of here nymphomaniac ways. Things are complicated when Rae’s husband (Justin Timberlake) returns from the army. Black Snake Moan doesn’t go anywhere you wouldn’t expect it to. In fact, if you’ve read the description than you probably don’t need to see the film.
Jackson performs the blues in a few sequences, and is surprisingly good. In Hustle & Flow the music was infused into the story, but in Moan it seems nothing more than an afterthought. It’s unnecessary to the story and rests inside the film like an awkward word inserted in the blank of a mad-lib page.
Why does Justin Timberlake want to be an actor? Does he know that screaming really loud doesn’t necessarily translate into a great performance? Apparently not. Justin, PLEASE give up on your acting dreams and return to brining the sexy back. You’re so much better doing your dancing money stage performance, millions of screaming teenage girls need you. So please spare us from your quarter-life career experiment.
But the real problem of Black Snake Moan coms in it’s pacing. It offers too much of the southern atmosphere and flavor and not as much of the story (but who needs that anyways?). If you were to look up “Sophomore effort” in a dictionary, I’m sure Black Snake Moan would be listed as an example. The poster and advertising promises something the movie never truly delivers. You will leave the theater unsatisfied, wanting and needing more.
/Film Rating: 4 out of 10