Red Right Hand

February 23, 202440/1006 min
Starring
Orlando Bloom, Andie MacDowell, Garret Dillahunt
Written by
Jonathan Easley
Directed by
Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms
Run Time
1h 51min
Release Date
February 23rd, 2024
Overall Score
Rating Summary

In this moment right now, revenge is so in. Of course, that has a lot to do with the success of the John Wick franchise, but as a fan of revenge flicks, whatever gets them made, I’m good with it. Unfortunately, for every revenge flick that kicks ass, you get some that, well, does the opposite of kick ass. Red Right Hand, the new film from Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms, falls into the revenge flick category as well as feeling like it came out of the 1970s. All of this sounds like the making of something good, but things don’t always turn out how they sound.

In some small town, Cash (Orlando Bloom) is trying to move past his old life. After his sister died, he feels like he needs to help take care of her husband, Finney (Scott Haze), and his niece, Savannah (Chapel Oaks), as well as help out around the farm they own. The quiet life, though, is not for everyone, and soon Cash’s past starts to catch up with him. It seems Finney needed some money, and he borrowed it from the crime boss in town named Big Cat (Andie MacDowell), who just happens to be Cash’s old employer. You see, Cash was good at what he did, so Big Cat is using Finney’s loan to make Cash get back into the game. Cash makes a deal with Big Cat: three jobs and his family’s debt is forgiven, something Big Cat agrees to. Of course, things are never that easy, and Big Cat’s plan was always to have Cash stay. Big Cat makes one mistake; she goes after Cash’s family, which sets up a battle that not everyone will survive.

Written by Jonathan Easley, Red Right Hand does deliver some tense moments and a great sense of atmosphere, but it unfortunately it relies too much on the genre’s tropes and clich├ęs. The screenplay is also a little uneven at times, which often slows down any momentum the story has gained. What you end up getting is a watch that, while entertaining, feels a little lacking. Red Right Hand does evoke a western style, which does help things along, but the struggle to separate itself from its action thriller and crime counterparts keeps it from being something worthy of its classic counterparts.

Red Right Hand is the kind of movie I usually dig, and while it does have some things in its favor, it doesn’t have enough of them to make it soar. What does work is Orlando Bloom, who as Cash not only delivers the punches but also some heartfelt moments as he tries to save the only family he has left. Bloom, who is from New Zealand, nails a pretty good country accent which is not always the easiest thing to do. The cinematography by Johnny Derango is a plus, as the film looks rather nice. While MacDowell is always fantastic, she feels miscast as Big Cat, as playing a big bad doesn’t really suit her. Ultimately, Red Right Hand never escapes mediocrity as its reliance on the genre’s tropes becomes too much for it to overcome. Bloom does his best to try and save it, and while he does make it entertaining, in the end, it’s just, okay.

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