Saturday, October 30, 2021

The Crickets Dance Review: Some Charming Leads But An Inconsistent Story

Release date: October 26, 2021
Running time: 91 minutes
Director: Veronica Robledo
Starring: Kristen Renton, Maurice Johnson, Bill Oberst Jr, Sandra Ellis Lafferty, Bobbie Eakes, William Mark McCullough, KateLynn Newberry, and Kevin Mikal Curry

A southern attorney discovers a lost diary, one that changes her life and helps her find true love after she’s nearly killed in a brutal attack, in a new film starring Sons of Anarchy’s Kristen Renton.  If Angie Lawrence, an attorney, and southern beauty, ever hopes to find love she needs to do two things: let a man walk her to the door and let go of the past. She sadly gets the opportunity to do both when she inherits a stunning southern antebellum mansion. While moving in, she discovers a diary hidden in the attic. It dates back 150 years. She becomes entranced with the diary’s history of slavery, brutality and how the bounds of time and injustice were overcome by love. 

The Crickets Dance starts with a cute opening that lets you get to know Angie and her dating predicament.  It shows a few things about her character: that she has a plan, is prepared, and is in control of the situation.  And I enjoyed Kristen Renton as Angie with her charm, understanding, and relentless pursuit of what she wants.  And I also really liked seeing Johnson alongside Renton, as he also had a good demeaner.  And the two had chemistry on screen, making for some fun interactions.  And the setting of the Cricket's Dance does allow for some beautiful scenes of Georgia as the pair explore to try and follow the 150 year old journal.

However, the Crickets Dance has a lot of issues.  For one, the acting is hit or miss.  Renton, Johnson, and several others are good and fun to watch, but there is some pretty bad delivery and dialogue in this film.  The story cuts back and forth in time, causing you to meet and follow characters that get into dramatic situations pretty abruptly.  It also means we don't get to spend much time with the characters that we have become invested in.  And the story is scattershot, jumping around a lot and not quite allowing the viewer to follow along.  The film also has pretty poor effects that draw you out of the film  There are not that many of them, but the ones that are used just don't look that natural.  And overall, the story just isn't one that will grab you.  I found myself looking at my watch multiple times, not a good sign for a movie that is only an hour and a half.

The Crickets Dance has a charming cast and some beautiful locales, but the inconsistent delivery and effects, as well as a story that feels long despite the short run time, might make you want to wait until the next song.

Pass on it.

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The Crickets Dance is available digitally and on demand on October 26, 2021.  

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