Back Add a Comment Share:
Facebook Button
Feature
Detective Dave Robicheaux (Tommy Lee Jones) investigates a murder after the body of a girl is found in his small town. As he delves deeper, Robicheaux discovers that the crime may be connected to a murder that goes back to his childhood and as he follows the clues, grills the suspects, and even throws a few punches along that way, he discovers the dark goings on that have been happening in his town go far deeper than he first suspected.

 In The Electric Mist
In the Electric Mist kicks off with the illusion that this may very well be a fine next step for Tommy Lee Jones after his fine performance in No Country For Old Men. He’s playing that same laid back cop, with the far away glare that you know is trying to put the clues together and his approach to his job is methodical and full of loaded questions. There’s a real sense that this is going to unravel slowly and may be more about the evolution of this character than it is the murder itself. Sadly that illusion doesn’t last too long.

The movie begins strong, with a well orchestrated, subtle screenplay, but soon slips into a movie full of stereotypes and frankly seventies cop show style characters. Tommy Lee Jones doesn’t seem to let this phase him, but there are huge chunks where he’s questioning characters and it all comes off as old school Columbo storytelling.  Tommy Lee keeps on an even keel throughout but his co-stars are sometimes so over the top and frankly TV in their tone that I began to lose faith in where this was going. A fine example is the movie director character he talks with. It’s outrageously clichéd and just feels like a whole other movie.

 In The Electric Mist
Now, as this is a murder mystery, I can’t really go too much further into the actual plot, in fear I may ruin someone out there’s enjoyment of the movie, but I will say that it took routes I didn’t expect. Unfortunately these were not anything to do with the actual whodunit (which is many ways takes a bit of a back seat as the movie comes to a close), but more to do with the scenes where Robicheaux is seemingly losing his mind and having talks with a long dead civil war general’s ghost. Seriously, it’s as weird as all hell considering the serious nature of the story around it and even though it all manages to work for the most part (mainly due to the actor Levon Helm’s thoroughly enjoyable performance and dialogue delivery) I'd be nice if anyone can tell me what that last shot actually signifies. Why is Dave even in that picture?

Video


In the Electric Mist has a solid transfer with luscious green foliage presented well and a nice natural feel to many of its outdoor locations. Skin tones can sometimes feel a little off, especially when Tommy Lee’s face when it's at its reddest, and black levels throughout are never quite satisfying.

 In The Electric Mist
There are a handful of scenes that show off more than others, including when Robicheaux comes home in a rain storm and his black jacket shows off the rain drops in the low lighting nicely and many of the scenes in the brightest of midday sun. All in all the movie has a  transfer that does enough to impress but not enough to really get noticed unless you go looking for reasons why.

Audio


For the most part this is quite a quiet affair, with Tommy Lee’s mumbling dialogue calmly asking questions in a small town. There are moments where the odd gunshot or motorboat engine with tear up the bass and when the musical moments do come into the track they sound pretty great but mostly live in the front speakers, which restrict the wideness of the track.

 In The Electric Mist
Rain storms make everything feel a little more spread out with some subtle drops in the rears adding to the feeling that there’s a hell of a downpour outside and the chirping on insects hovering around the speakers presents a nice subtle illusion of space in the smaller scenes. Once again though, none of this is really enough to draw attention to itself and makes for a reliable track but not a memorable one.

Extras


There’re no actual features here, but the trailers for  The Greatest, Babysitters, The Sisters and The Deal are some of the worst put together ones I’ve seen in a while. Seriously, not one of these movies needs to be seen as they all give away almost the entire plot or have Meg Ryan in them.

 In The Electric Mist

Overall


In the Electric Mist is an okay murder mystery that in a way forgets what it is about half way through and just about remembers to answer the big whodunit question in amongst the closing scenes. Wikipedia also mentions that it’s the sort of sequel to 1996's Heaven's Prisoners, another movie I felt much the same about.

The disc is solid enough, but never that impressive and with options to get actual features and different cuts in different regions, the UK release seems like it would be more of a rental than an actual purchase.

* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.


Links: