'No speeches – you point the gun, you fire the gun,' is the advice given to Dwight (Blair) when he’s handed a rifle, and while he can't resist a little monologue when that moment comes Blue Ruin undercuts the tropes of the revenge thriller at every turn. This one will surprise and surprise again.
wight is homeless, rummaging about bins for dinner and living in his car, a blue Pontiac pockmarked with bullet holes, down at the beach. When word gets through that a man has been released from prison, a shaken Dwight readies himself, follows him to his party, stabs the man in the head, and flees. Elation soon turns to horror when Dwight releases that the man's family can and will trace the Pontiac to his sister's (Hargreaves) and he scrambles to ensure her safety, which means guns and bodies.
ike Brendan Muldowney's Savage, Blue Ruin plays with the expectations of the revenge movie. This is no Death Wish - Macon Blair is more like a depressed Nathan Lane than a gung-ho Charles Bronson, shuffling about his ill-thought out reprisal plans with a schoolboy expression of bewilderment and fear. The minimalist set up allows the story to get underway very quickly – we don't know who Dwight is or what the ex-con has done until the information dribbles by – but the deft writing is so bang on we're intrigued and on board from the off.
ith an indie, low budget, southern backwoods vibe reminiscent of Shotgun Stories, Blue Ruin has all the earmarks to do for Saulnier what that debut did for Jeff Nichols.