Jesse Weiland (Matt Dillon) is a contract killer for a ruthless criminal organization led by Lutin (Tom Berenger) who also dabbles in some safe-cracking action on the side. When he gets arrested by Louisiana detective Bud Carter (Willem Dafoe), he’s prepared to do the time. Lutin however isn’t so sure and takes measures to ensure Weiland’s silence. His actions backfire and make Weiland an adversary who teams up with Carter in order to take down the entire organization.
While Bad Country is based on true events, it feels like a TV movie with plenty of formulaic elements. The movie also suffers from a bit too much testosterone in the room with all of the actors laying it on a bit too thick. Sure, Dillon, Dafoe and everyone else are supposed to portray tough guys but it feels too much like a caricature. By the time the movie reaches its conclusion, whatever tension the makers managed to build up, gets thrown out the window and is replaced by boring shoot-outs where people gett riddled with as many bullets as this movie is riddled with clichés. Set against the backdrop of Baton Rouge, at least we get to see some beautiful images of Louisiana.
Directed by first-timer Chris Brinker (one of the producers of Boondock Saints), Bad Country is the kind of movie that’s okay to watch when it’s on TV. And while it’s not entirely without its merits, it’s easy to spot what could have made it more satisfying.