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Home Movies Reviews ‘LaRoy, Texas’ (2024) Movie Review - An Okayish Crime Comedy Saved By Its Actors

‘LaRoy, Texas’ (2024) Movie Review - An Okayish Crime Comedy Saved By Its Actors

Ray decides to take his own life after learning that his wife is having an extramarital affair. His preparations are abruptly derailed when he is mistaken for a cheap hitman by an unknown individual.

Vikas Yadav - Mon, 15 Apr 2024 19:18:25 +0100 10236 Views
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Going through Shane Atkinson's filmography on IMDb, I found out that he made three short films before directing LaRoy, Texas (his feature-length directorial debut). Those short films are La grande maladie, Penny Dreadful, and The Ambassador. I couldn't find the plot description of the first film, but I saw that Penny Dreadful is about a kidnapping gone wrong, and The Ambassador is about a concierge and a couple facing the same problem of making a body disappear. After reading these synopses, it seemed logical to me that Atkinson would make something like LaRoy, Texas. This crime comedy isn't as chaotically funny as it should have been, as Atkinson's filmmaking is mostly dry. As a result, his comedy can leave you a bit weary, and the "emotional and meaningful" ending doesn't land properly. Yet, LaRoy, Texas remains sufficiently watchable due to the performances. The actors save this vehicle from blowing up.

As Ray, John Magaro turns himself into a withered flower. He becomes the embodiment of a loser, constantly hiding the truth under the carpet. Ray doesn't confront reality because of his weakness. He protects himself by hiding inside a bubble. When Ray finds out that his wife, Stacy-Lynn (Megan Stevenson), is cheating on him with someone else, there is no confrontation. Instead, he keeps assuring himself that she loves him because she is his wife, after all. Then there is also the fact that Stacy-Lynn chose someone like Ray as her husband when this beautiful woman could have married a more handsome individual.

Ray is so good, so naive, so innocent that he irks the audience. LaRoy, Texas doesn't want you to sympathize with anyone. Every character here is repulsive in one way or the other. Skip (Steve Zahn), the private detective who informs Ray about his wife's sexual adventures, is a comic relief character who gets bullied by the local police officers. He wants to prove to them that he is very competent, though that doesn't make him an underdog. He comes across as an incompetent buffoon with a lousy taste in clothes. Skip and Ray are similar to each other. They both want to be treated with respect by people who don't care about them. These amateurs team up and make a mess out of various situations. Skip almost unintentionally kills a man twice. Ray quietly leaves the premises of a car shop when he is told to get out during his "interrogation."

Harry (Dylan Baker), a contract killer, is very different from Ray. He is so ruthless that when he smiles, the movie becomes tense. He walks with comfort and confidence, which suggests he has been in this field for a long time. But Harry is not a one-dimensional evil. He gets annoyed by some men who harass a waitress. This scene tells us that Harry is aware of the line between good and evil. It also informs us that he has a sharply defined code of conduct (don't pursue anyone, no matter how terrible they may seem unless you're hired to do so). One of the rules that this character explicitly states is that all jobs must be completed. Once Harry goes after someone or something, he doesn't rest until his mission is accomplished. Since Ray ends up killing Harry's target, Harry wants compensation for his time and his troubles. He won't leave without that suitcase filled with cash.

Everybody in LaRoy, Texas chases that money bag. Material like this is usually executed for style or cleverness. Atkinson, though, goes for humor that works in some places. Ultimately, what LaRoy, Texas does for the director is that it establishes him as someone with potential. It's an okayish debut that's more showreel and less entertainment.

Final Score- [6.5/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times



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