Movie Review: ‘Buck Run’


Movies about small-town life, like director Nick Frangione’s Buck Run which recently screened at the San Diego Film Festival, should be shown to every kid currently growing up in small town America. They’ll get a good perspective of how life is in this part of the country and hopefully, we’ll want to get the heck out of dodge as soon as they can.

Shaw Templeton (Nolan Lyons) is a skinny, shy kid who just wants to be left alone. He’s bullied and friendless and as played by Lyons, you are just sitting in your seat hoping his story will somehow have a happy ending.

Shaw’s mom has just died from an overdose. Well, she died a couple of days earlier, it’s just that he just assumed she was coming off one of her usual benders. The cops come and hand Shaw over to his estranged dad, William (James Le Gros). The two have about as much in common as fried chicken and escargot, but it’s at least clear that he wants to do the right thing and take care of his son.

William’s got his own issues to deal with. He doesn’t have a job, which seems to because of where he lives, not due to any lack of motivation or willingness to work. To make ends meet, he sells whatever he can get his hands on at the local flea market.

The two spend the rest of the film learning how to live with each other and trying to bond. Not much happens beyond that and that’s quite fine. It’s really about the performances and both Le Gros and Lyons are wonderful. And director Frangione really seems to know this world, showing its bleakness in every scene.

It’s a shame though that the characters, especially the Shaw, doesn’t have more dialogue than he does. The film mines the tragic portrait of current small town life but if we had found out any hopes or desires, any of dreams about his future, it would have made it even more of a tragedy.

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