In Electric Mist Bertrand Tavernier

In Electric Mist Bertrand Tavernier
Despite the presence of recognizable movie stars like Tommy Lee Jones, John Goodman and Mary Steenburgen, In Electric Mist feels like a made-for-TV movie hopped up on steroids. The simple detective story, based on the novel by James Lee Burke, is told with no particular style or passion, but the straightforward storytelling is competent enough that fans of crime drama adaptations in the style of Tom Selleck's Jesse Stone movies will find it entertaining enough. Small town police detective Dave Robicheaux (Tommy Lee Jones) is called in to investigate a series of grisly murders on the Louisiana bayou. His top suspect is local crime lord "Baby Feet" Balboni (John Goodman), who is attempting to legitimize his status by funding a Hollywood civil war epic filming in the area. While investigating the recent murders, alcoholic movie star Elrod Sykes (Peter Sarsgaard) discovers the long dead corpse of an escaped prisoner whose racially motivated murder Robicheaux witnessed as a young man. Robicheaux must untangle a web of old corruption and prejudices to bring the murderer to justice. Jones is familiar in his role as a no nonsense police detective, having played nearly identical characters throughout his career. While he may be well suited to the role it does feel as if he has just memorized the lines and is going through the motions for an easy paycheque. Goodman, on the other hand, brings his A game and steals every scene despite his familiar casting as a Southern ne'er-do-well. Completely devoid of unnecessary special features, this movie doesn't try to rise above its station and put a bunch of useless filler on the disc just because it can. Don't be fooled by the big name stars on the box, In the Electric Mist is a small pond that just happens to be stocked with some big fish. (E1)