Matthew McConaughey is on something of a revival of late. It started with Killer Joe, maybe the Lincoln Lawyer, and continued with The Paperboy, Mud and apparently Magic Mike though I’ve yet to confirm that.
Mud sees two young boys find a fugitive (McConaughey) on an island near their home and, being young impressionable boys that they are, they are caught up in the moment and end up helping him to re-build a boat they’ve found in order that he can escape with his girlfriend Juniper (Reese Witherspoon).
The boys, Tye Sheridan as Ellis and a River Pheonix looking Jacob Lofland as Neckbone, grab parts for the boat and food for McConaughey and take notes to his girlfriend.
As the story goes on you learn that Mud has killed a man in the name of love and now the father and brother and a whole heap of bounty hunters are after Mud to take their revenge.
The story is one of young love, foolish love, betrayal and lies however it drags on at over two hours and you get the feeling it was kept this long for no other reason than the scenery looks nice.
Having said that, when it comes to it it’s well directed, McConaughey is excellent in the title role and the two young boys keep the movie going with their intensity. What is lacking between them is any kind of believable friendship, the type you saw in Stand By Me for example. The friendship just feels a little forced, a little lacking something.
There are no real surprises here, if you haven’t seen Killer Joe then you should perhaps watch this to see how good McConaughey is these days, otherwise it plods along and just does enough to keep you interested. A little bit more ruthless cutting and the movie would have been all the better for it.