Crime procedurals are a dime a dozen on TV (see: the many different iterations of CSI and Law & Order), which makes it kind of difficult to get too worked up when you hear about a feature-length film that involves an eclectic mix of police officers joining forces to track down a killer.
This fall's Texas Killing Fields is the latest cinematic murder investigation mystery/thriller - and judging by the official trailer, it should be a decent, if somewhat unremarkable, addition to the genre.
Texas Killing Fields gets its namesake from a region near League City in (naturally) Texas, where some 21 women have been murdered or disappeared since the 1970s. The film follows the efforts of a local homicide detective (Sam Worthington) and his partner, a former New York cop (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who attempt to track down the vicious killer who leaves his victims' mutilated corpses in the titular marshes.
For more on that, including whether or not Worthington can pull off a convincing Texan drawl (hint: the answer's exactly what you would think), check out the Texas Killing Fields trailer below:
Texas Killing Fields isn't looking too shabby so far; there are even shades of excellent grim crime tales by the likes of David Fincher (Se7en, Zodiac) in the footage shown here. Assuming the trailer isn't too misleading, though, the film also seems to hit many familiar beats, in terms of character development (Morgan's cop being haunted by the past) and plot points - like when tensions between Morgan and Worthington reach a breaking point and things get personal, after local girl Anne (Chloe Moretz) is kidnapped.
The film was directed by Ami Canaan Mann, who previously helmed the little-seen drama Morning and an episode of Robbery Homicide Division as well as Friday Night Lights; she also worked as a second unit director on her father's (Michael Mann) film, Heat. So she does have some experience overseeing crime dramas, which seems to have served her well enough here. Texas Killing Fields doesn't look as visually stylish as either a Michael Mann or David Fincher movie, but the cinematography still appears to be appropriately subdued and dreary.
While the supporting cast for Texas Killing Fields is pretty decent, between Moretz, Jessica Chastain (Tree of Life), and Stephen Graham (Boardwalk Empire), the leading stars are kind of a mixed blessing. Morgan is generally solid enough in whatever role he plays, but Worthington has yet to really impress onscreen. Plus, as mentioned before, the strained accent doesn't help.
Texas Killing Fields is slated to begin a limited theatrical release in the U.S. on October 7th, 2011.
Source: Anchor Bay Films