Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Megan Fox, Bruce Willis, Emile Hirsch, Lukas Haas, Colson Baker, Michael Beach, Caitlin Carmichael, Lydia Hull, Sistine Stallone, Welker White
Written by: Alan Horsnail
Directed by: Randall Emmett
MPAA Rating: R for violence, and language throughout
Running Time: 98
Date: 07/23/2021
IMDB

Midnight in the Switchgrass (2021)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

'Grass' Brutes

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Slightly more ambitious than anything Bruce Willis has attempted lately, this "B" thriller is still pretty generic, taking the most predictable shortcuts and offering few surprises and little to care about.

The body of a young woman is found under a bridge. Florida law enforcement officer Byron Crawford (Emile Hirsch ) investigates and determines that the crime is likely part of a string of serial killings. Meanwhile, FBI agents Karl Helter (Willis) and Rebecca Lombardo (Megan Fox) are undercover attempting to bust a sex-trafficking ring, with Rebecca acting as the bait.

Before long, all three realize that they are looking for the same suspect. They set up a trap to catch the killer (Lukas Haas), but everything goes wrong and Rebecca winds up his prisoner. It's up to Byron to find the killer's identity and rescue the captives before it's too late.

In spite of its cool title, Midnight in the Switchgrass does just about everything by the creaky old book, digging deep into the catalogue of serial killer movies from the 1990s, complete with little regard for women characters. Poor Haas, with his too-big ears and wide-set eyes, is predictably cast as the creepy villain, and — aside from a few minutes when it appears that he's helping a drunk/high teen girl — the movie does nothing to hide his identity from the viewer.

Meanwhile, Willis's scenes appear to have been patched together from a series of bad takes; they are riddled with pitiful continuity and mismatched sound. Fox doesn't fare much better. Her big fight scene is so poorly edited that it looks laughably fake. In fact, much of the editing in general is frequently disorienting, and it's very easy to get confused as certain details seem to have been accidentally overlooked.

Only Hirsch (despite an ill-advised mustache) brings some humanity to his character, going out of his way to visit the mother of one victim, and trying to be a good dad and husband. Unfortunately, his work isn't enough to save Midnight in the Switchgrass from going under the lawnmower.

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