by Mark Rivers
SEE THIS MOVIE! There are about a dozen producers, some of whom are almost certainly Jews, and the film was released by Lion's Gate, which gave us the negro feast "O" last year. Still, "Frailty" is an outstanding film, and before you read this review, I recommend that you see it before you continue reading, as I'm about to give away most of the plot twists.
"Frailty" is more or less the directorial debut of Bill Paxton (whose work I have more or less always enjoyed, from the sadistic brother in "Weird Science" to the cowardly Marine in "Aliens"). His only other directing job was a 1980's music video for the novelty song "Fish Heads" (you know, "Fish Heads, Fish Heads, Roly-poly Fish Heads...).
In "Frailty," Paxton has shown that he is a capable director. With a super script from movie newbie Brent Hanley, Paxton directs and stars in this film with the kind of professionalism we can continue to expect from him. Set in Texas (home to stars Paxton, Matthew McConaughey and Powers Boothe) in the present, the movie shows us flashbacks to 1979, where we meet widowed dad Paxton, a simple-livin' auto mechanic. He wakes his pre-teen sons up one night to tell them he has had a heavenly vision. They think he's nuts, as does the audience.
Look out, I'm about to spoil the movie. Paxton's vision is of an angel who tells them that he and his sons are to be appointed as God's warriors on Earth. Their mission will be to kill "demons" in human form. McConaughey plays one of the adult sons in the present, telling the whole story to FBI agent Powers Boothe. In the flashbacks, Paxton acquires an axe, a pair of work gloves and a lead pipe; weapons for his battle against evil. According to the angel, says Paxton, he must put on the gloves, find the person on the list (also provided by the angel), club him with the pipe, drag him back to his place, and touch him with his bare hands, at which time he (and his sons, it is hoped) will see the demon's true, hideous form. Then he is to kill the demon with the axe. He does this a few times, to the horror of the boys (and the audience).
While I was watching the film, I thought, "Oh boy, another film talking about how Christians are all wild-eyed fanatics and psychopaths." Since I'm not a Christian anymore, this doesn't bother me as much as it used to. Any slandering Hollywood does against Christians, though, is directed toward WHITE Christians; violent Klansmen, hypocritical televangelists, drunken priests, etc; and rarely, if ever toward non-White Christians. THAT is what bothers me.
"Frailty" had a few surprises in store for me, however. Here comes another spoiler. The flashbacks focus on the older son, who is a non-believer. Paxton, convinced by the angel that his son is one of the demons, tries to convert him instead of killing him as the angel requires. The younger son, we're led to believe, is just agreeing with what the dad says, although he too, thinks the dad is a nutcase. It turns out, though, that the dad WAS receiving holy visitors, the people he was killing WERE "demons" (i.e. murderers, etc), and the McConaughey character is NOT the older, atheist son, but the younger son who is (and always was) a Holy Warrior like his father.
So, if you haven't seen the movie, I have just spoiled it for you (hey, I warned you). Even so, see it anyway, because it is a very well-done film, and there are still a couple of surprises I haven't given away. "Frailty" is one of my favorites for 2002, and although it is almost certainly putting a little money in the pockets of some Jews somewhere, I recommend it. The negro count is zero, which gives it even higher marks.
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