Rating: Not Rated
“‘The Local’ tells the story of a man drifting along the dark edge of society. Tortured by addiction and a trouble past, the local has just been released from jail, and returns to the only world he knows; that of crime. He becomes a messenger for Brooklyn s top drug gang, a job that carries quick rewards as well as the risk of death. When a mysterious stranger approaches the local, and offers him a deal… he may have found a glimmer of hope where he least expected. The stranger asks him to capture from his gang boss, a girl addicted to drugs, and bring her safely out. The stranger turns out to be a detective, and the girl is his estranged daughter. Along with the deal comes money, but the local must also talk, and of course, he must deliver the girl alive. When he meets this girl, the local realizes saving her will afford him a way out of his life of crime, a path towards a personal redemption.
A superbly conceived existential neo-noir-suspense-thriller, written and directed by award-winning filmmaker Dan Eberle (Jail City), The Local stylishly depicts an underworld of crime, where it is hard to find anything good amongst all that is bad, where a sinner can still redeem himself from a world broken beyond saving.”
“The Local” is not rated, but features nudity, drug use, and language.
The story is your traditional “slow burn” tale where the lead character is beaten down for the entire film, then slowly builds up his frustration and anger until he explodes in the grand finale to save the day and/or get revenge. When Noname finally faces off with his drug dealer employers, it’s satisfying but over a little too quickly. The quick resolution is probably more realistic, but I would have liked to have seen a tad more action after such a long build up. And the fact that the drug dealers are all ex-military make them that much more formidable opponents.
I was also impressed that Dan Eberle wrote, directed, and starred in this movie. He actually reminds me a bit of Vin Diesel in his early years – a tough guy who makes independent films. Eberle plays the lead character, Noname. He’s down on his luck, living in squalor, and in a downward spiral where he can’t catch a break. He’s sympathetic, but he does have a dark side. He’s not above using a baby as a human shield or defending himself by snapping the neck of a rival goon. On the directing side, Eberle uses the Brooklyn setting to great effect. He really captures the dark, dirty underbelly of the city. There were a tad too many lingering, artistic shots of the city for my tastes, but what was there did look good.
So why rate this 5.5 out of 10? “The Local” unfolds its story at a slow, leisurely pace that can get quite boring at times. A majority of the script is also profanity which doesn’t take a lot of talent to write. The story is also a tad hard to follow at times as one drug deal after another is fouled up. I kind of got lost as to what was going on more than once. The story also meanders a bit during these various drug deals. Only about 30 to 45 minutes of this movie is critical to the central storyline. So overall it’s a good effort but it does have problems.
If you like redemption tales or independent films, I think you’ll want to check out “The Local”. It’s interesting to see new talents emerge in the filmmaking industry and Dan Eberle has demonstrated he is one to keep an eye on.
The DVD I was sent did not have any bonus features, but the one in stores may have some. You’ll have to check it out on your own.