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‘Buck Run’ review: An emotional premise that lacks a story

Quiet and reflective.

Buck Run starts building an atmosphere that will last it’s entire run in the opening shots. The indie movie starts with various clips of 15-year-old Shaw Templeton (Nolan Lyons). Each scene is filled with feelings of hopelessness and despair. When he finds his mother dead, Shaw is sent to live with his estranged father (James Le Gros). 

The story is a quiet and reflective one. There are long moments of silence that seem to be asking the audience to digest what is happening. This also highlights a structural flaw in Buck Run. The plot never takes shape. Buck Run introduces many sub-plots that are never fully investigated. Despite the title, this includes deer hunting itself. It is odd since the movie provides many powerful individual moments despite lacking a clear structure.

It is an interesting way to tell a story. Writer David Hauslein gives the audience the plot points but leaves it up to those watching to tie it all together. The end result will be a mixed bag – especially in its final act. The film is able to get past this by being filled with emotion. Shaw is understandably confused and angry. His father, William is surly, but trying his best. It is a familiar premise that works thanks to the evocative performances.

Buck Run lacks the emotional impact a movie of its nature should. It hits all the right story beats but does not provide enough story to get the audience fully invested. The cinematography and performances make things compelling at times. The movies does a great job of looking how the characters feel. Unfortunately, it does not hit all the points it is aiming for.

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