Directed by: Kyle Acosta
Watching a film that runs for three hours, fifty three minutes and nineteen seconds is like being handed a Victor Hugo novel; you know its long and you just hope it’s going to be good.
So give yourself a chance and break it down into bite size chunks like a box set. Well that was the plan as one sitting was unlikely to do the job.
The story opens with a dishevelled TK (Kyle Acosta) facing another day as a drug dealer. Years of ducking and diving have taken their toll and local mister big Charlie Barker (J. Adam Young) wants out. Barker is ready to hand the business over to his nephew Rothschild (Bryan Fretwell). However, Barker is not entirely convinced his nephew can be trusted; so expects TK to keep an eye on things. But he is reluctant to babysit and is distracted by his terminally ill mother in hospital. To make matters worse, blue haired cop Kate Crise (Kristin Showalter) is getting horribly close to a very big deal. Barker’s long white beard gives him a God like appearance and seeks retribution when $250,000 goes missing.
Rightways Down certainly doesn’t lack ambition but fails to properly utilise the time available.
It’s longer than the Godfather, Goodfellas and Heat; so has to offer something special to hold the attention.
What we get is a familiar tale of a drug deal gone wrong and the recriminations that inevitably follow. All of which is competently done, but there simply isn’t the depth to make it stretch for nearly four hours. So we are frequently left with empty frames that don’t move the story along and visuals that are largely meaningless.
Applying a Hollywood standard to an indie film is unfair but they do need to get the basics right. The lip synching was miles off and sound mixing could have been a lot better. However, there is something very likeable about this film. We might have all the standard #gangster clichés; a drugs deal, car chase and a shoot-out, greedy light fingers leading to a spot of torture. But strip away the ballast and there is a good story to be had. If only it had kept to the standard 90 minute format?