DVD Review - Run the Tide

There have been several films about the bond between siblings and how sometimes one sibling who's older has to take care of the one who's younger. This movie is no different. It's about one sibling being a parent to the other because the actual parents aren't available for one reason or another. The specific movie that came to mind was The Conrad Boys (2006), specifically because in both, one parent does return and threatens to take the younger sibling from the older one, which would free the older sibling to live his own life but would sever the bond between the two siblings. Both movies are thus about the older sibling having to make a choice between keeping or letting go of that surrogate-parent role.

Taylor Lautner (Twilight and Abduction) stars as Raymund Hightower or Rey, a young man who lives in New Mexico. He's college-age but clearly never went to college. He works at a gas station and lives in a tiny and crappy trailer out in the mountainous desert. He gets around in an old and crappy, red SUV. He's also raising his prepubescent brother.

Nico Christou co-stars as Oliver Hightower, the prepubescent brother who is probably 11 or 12. He likes playing baseball but hates inside-pitches. He's very smart and very brash. He isn't afraid to yell, scream and even throw rocks at his only brother. He can also be a very tough negotiator.

Constance Zimmer (Unreal and Entourage) also stars as Lola, the mother to Rey and Oliver who isn't available because she's in prison. There's a lot that she's done that Oliver doesn't remember because he was too young when she was arrested, but Rey remembers and hates her for what she's done. It's evident though that she is highly remorseful and wants to make amends, but Rey accused her of being a junkie and a whore.

Kenny Johnson (The Shield and Bates Motel) plays Bobby or Bo, the ex-boyfriend of Lola who isn't the biological father to Rey and Oliver but he is very supportive of the two boys. Bo works at the gas station too. He's a big, buff, manly man but he clearly loves or has feelings for Lola and her sons, and he clearly is hurt by Lola's actions prior to prison.

Johanna Braddy (Quantico and Unreal) plays Michelle Turner, an ex-girlfriend of Rey who shows up in town to visit family before returning to her consulting job at a tech firm in San Francisco. She is of course beautiful but she likes to sing songs and play the guitar. She represents the idea of escape, escape from a kind of trap that Rey seems to be in.

Ultimately, the escape from the trap is forgiveness. Rey needs to forgive his mom and not get in the way of her having custody of Oliver. It shows that one's relationship with someone isn't going to be the relationship that someone has with everybody. Your own experience isn't going to be everyone's experience. Because one's experience was bad, the response to be overly protective is natural and normal.

This is the tension between the two brothers. It may lean toward histrionics, but this might be the best performance from Lautner beyond his physical transformation in Twilight. There and in subsequent films, he flexed his upper-body muscles. Here, he flexes his emotional muscles. He conveys successfully some really genuine feelings, brotherly love and fear, and he's believable.

It comes to a head when Lautner and Cristou battle in a motel room. It's an arc to a relationship between the brothers that is potently mapped out and both Lautner and Cristou travail nicely.

Rated PG-13 for thematic content, language and a scene of sexuality.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 36 mins.


Popular Posts