Thursday, July 30, 2015

Movie with Abe: Two Step

Two Step
Directed by Alex R. Johnson
Released July 31, 2015

Money always complicates things. Coming into a large sum without any prior knowledge of its existence can produce highly different reactions in people, especially considering their history with money and what it means to them. Some embrace it with humility, almost unsure of what to do and how it could change their lives, while others don’t even stop to appreciate what has happened and merely move on to selfish motives. In the new dramatic thriller “Two Step,” two such drastically different people learn are faced with such a situation and interact in a disturbing and violent manner.

James (Skyy Moore) is a not a particularly motivated person, but he does have a kind heart. After being expelled from college, James heads home to the only family he has, his grandmother, who passes away soon after his arrival. His budding friendship with her old friend Dot (Beth Broderick) doesn’t distract him from the discovery that his grandmother was an unwilling participant in a money scam conducted by Webb (James Landry Hebert), who, even from within prison, calls people with older names and pretends to be their grandchildren in desperate need of money. James’ interest in making things right only leads Webb closer to him, with disastrous results.

At first, these are two separate stories, with Webb being released from prison only to learn that he owes more than he thought he did to some very angry people, and James dealing with the directionless nature of his life after his grandmother dies. Webb’s story is much darker, filled with instances of brutality and aggression, while James’ seems far more optimistic, especially as the bright and enthusiastic Dot enters his life. Dot’s role as a dance instructor provides the framework for the title of this film, a difficult interaction that proves excessively worrisome as it becomes ore complicated.

The allure of this film, according to critics who adore it, is that it is a stylized thriller true to its Southern origins. Its slow burn build does have the potential to make its finish even stronger, but the film never quite reaches a point of true satisfaction where everything that leads up to the explosion of its events feels like it has been given a proper payoff. It is unabashedly and unapologetically grim and unsettling, but that is not enough to make for a solid and memorable movie experience all on its own.


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