(directors: Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms; screenwriter: Jonathan Easley; cinematographer: Johnny Derango; editor: Traton Lee; music: Mondo Boys; cast: Orlando Bloom (Cash), Andie MacDowell (Big Cat), Garret Dillahunt (Wilder), James Lafferty (Lazzarus), Brian Geraghty (Sheriff Hollister), Nicholas Logan (The Doe), Chapel Oaks (Savannah), Mo McRae (Duke), Scott Haze (Finney); Runtime: 111; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Basil Iwanyk, Erica Lee, Mike Gabrawy, Jason Tamasco, Zak Kristofek, Michelle Lang, Ryan Donnell Smith; Magnolia Films; 2024)

“The film is held together by Orlando Bloom’s performance.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Sibling co-directors Eshom Nelms and Ian Nelms (“Fat Man”/”Waffle Street”) deliver an entertaining but vacuous B-film 1970’s styled crime thriller with themes of religion and morality and family unity. It’s set in rural Kentucky, and its bloody violence will take over its story-line. The exploitation film is written by first-time screenwriter Jonathan Easley.

The film is held together by Orlando Bloom’s performance.

It’s title is derived from Bloom’s right hand burned as part of a ritual he underwent to join the local mob.

A close-knit farming family consisting of the reformed and now gentle bad guy Cash (Orlando Bloom, Brit actor, who nails his southern accent), a former enforcer for the local mob, his troubled brother-in-law Finney (Scott Haze), owing that same mob a debt, and the feisty teen niece Savannah (Chapel Oaks). They live in a remote small town in the hills of Kentucky, on a farm passed on to them by Cash’s sister after she died from a drug overdose.

The sadistic mob leader, Big Cat (Andie MacDowell, miscast and going against type), forces Finney to pay off his debt by doing three more jobs for the mob.

Cash thereby acts as the protector of the family, and is allowed by the boss to do the jobs for Finney. But when the jobs turn ugly, he violently goes after the mob, with the help of his family and an ornery OT preacher (Garret Dillahunt).

There’s nothing interesting about this familiar story and the film drags in parts, but the action scenes (the shootouts) are gripping.

REVIEWED ON 2/24/2024  GRADE: C+