Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Star: Anton Yelchin/Patrick Stewart
Year Released: 2015
Running Time: 1 Hour 35 Minutes
Green Room is a new thriller from Jeremy Saulnier, one of the more interesting and unique, independent filmmakers working today. When a dirt broke, scraping the bottom of the barrel punk rock band called The Ain’t Rights goes out of their pre-planned tour path to do an interview and a show in Oregon they find that the show is much smaller than they thought. Pissed off and low on cash, their host tries to placate them by getting his cousin to book them at an out of the way roadhouse. There just happens to be one small catch, their audience and hosts are Neo-Nazi skinheads. The band isn’t intimidated by the hostile crowd and plays the show anyway. Except after the show when guitarist Pat (Anton Yelchin) goes back for his phone, he stumbles across a gruesome crime scene. Soon the entire band, along with a defector from the skin head’s named Amber (Imogen Poots) have barricaded themselves in the green room as the Nazis led by the sinister Darcy (Patrick Stewart) plan to wipe out all witnesses.
This was quite the pleasant surprise. I knew very little about this film before seeing it (I actually thought that the Patrick Stewart part was being played by Bryan Cranston) but I was impressed. For a director who is only on his third movie, Saulnier has impressive skills. “Green Room” is well shot, constantly suspenseful, very well acted and its ending managed to surprise me, even though I’ve seen plenty of these siege thrillers.
The scenery and lighting were especially good. The roadhouse that was the main setting definitely looked as grimy and greasy as an out of the way skinhead club should look. The setting also helped make the brutal and faced paced action look better. The plot was nothing new; it was the performances that separated Green Room from the rest. When the siege started the band reacted quite realistically. They panicked, disagreed with each other and didn’t just automatically all become killer ninjas.
Patrick Stewart brought his usual high caliber of acting, as he infused skinhead boss Darcy with a quiet menace. While I was disappointed that Stewart didn’t have a grandiose Captain Picard style speech, it wouldn’t have fit the script and in the end wasn’t necessary. Stewart showed himself to be absolutely in control of his followers in every scene and casually ordered deaths in a way that you felt it was utterly normal for him. Imogen Poots as the skinhead defector Amber was the standout of the cast. She started off scared and confused, but overtime proved herself the most ruthless person in the movie. In the end, Green Room goes above its standard premise with excellent acting and action definitely recommended.
Did I like the movie: Yes
Would I watch it again: Yes
Would I buy it: Yes
What’s good motivation for a jogger: Tell the ice cream truck to drive just ahead of you