DVD Review - Young Ones

Kodi Smit-McPhee (left) and
Nicholas Hoult in 'Young Ones'
Jake Paltrow is the younger brother of Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow and he is the writer-director of this modern or rather futuristic western.

There is an underlying premise that a post-apocalyptic landscape has been created based on a significant, if not large loss of water recently. In terms of giving us enough world-building and enough information to understand fully or even feel fully the environment where the characters exist, Jake Paltrow does as poorly a job as Christopher Nolan in Interstellar. He does an even worse job of providing a point to this western masquerading as a twisted and deadly, domestic drama.

Oscar-nominee Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road and Take Shelter) stars as Ernest Holm, the father of two teenagers and the owner of farmland that has since dried up due to the large loss of water. He does have access to a well, a well he will literally kill to protect, but a well that has also dried up by the start of this narrative.

Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road and Let Me In) co-stars as Jerome Holm, the son of Ernest who is somewhat shy and reserved. He's a scrawny kid but he remains by his father's side, hard-working, dedicated and loving.

Elle Fanning (Super 8 and Maleficent) co-stars as Mary Holm, the daughter of Ernest who is many ways opposite. She resents her father. He keeps her somewhat restricted to the shanty-like home where they reside. She does all of the housework, the cooking and cleaning. She wants to hang out and do other things but Ernest doesn't allow her.

Nicholas Hoult (A Single Man and X-Men: First Class) co-stars as Flem Lever. He's one of the things that Mary would rather be doing. Flem comes into conflict with Ernest over a machine that functions basically as a robotic mule. Through some convoluted plotting, this conflict leads to Flem devising a plan to take control of Ernest's land and making it profitable again.

There are things about the convoluted plot that don't make much sense or are totally explained. The whole affair quickly rounds to a revenge tale in typical western fashion.

Two Stars out of Five.
Rated R for some violence and language.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 39 mins.

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