Saturday, October 9, 2021

South of Heaven Review: An Emotional Role For Jason Sudeikis

Release date: October 8, 2021
Running time: 120 minutes
Directed By: Aharon Keshales 
Writen By: Aharon Keshales, Kai Mark, and Navot Papushado
Jason Sudeikis, Evangeline Lilly, Mike Colter, and Shea Whigham

After serving twelve years for armed robbery, Jimmy gets an early parole. Upon his release from prison he vows to give Annie, his childhood love, now dying from cancer, the best year of her life. The best last year of her life. If only life were that simple.

South of Heaven is an interesting one as you have Jason Sudeikis playing someone that sounds like Ted Lasso but does nothing like Ted Lasso!  The film has Sudeikis playing a prisoner who gets a second chance, only to have new obstacles be placed in his and his fiancĂ©'s way.  I liked the serious tone of the film and the way it started.  It really made you latch onto the characters and their situation.  And overall, the film builds with an interesting set of circumstances happening to Jimmy, causing him to get deeper and deeper into a situation that he hoped to stay out of.  And on top of that the film throws some good curve balls at you as the story changes and adapts to Jimmy's changing situation.  

But South of Heaven just kind of feels a little much.  The situation that happens feels forced, and the resolution of that situation really jumps the shark.  I liked lots of parts of it, including the actors and the overall story.  But there were just some instances that felt too extreme to be believable.  If the film had been toned down slightly (and a lot at the end), I think we would have had a better overall experience.  And to be clear, there were some really great scenes, including the middle where you start to empathize with different characters.  It really showed that things aren't always what they seem.  But this then leads into a crazy sequence of events that feels unrealistic and downright strange at times.  

South of Heaven has a more serious Sudeikis in a tense drama about second chances and consequences that tells an interesting, if unnecessarily extreme, story.

Rent it.

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South of Heaven is available in theaters, digitally, and on demand on October 8, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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