May 05, 2020
By: Lauren Gallagher | May 5th, 2020

Arkansas is on Apple, Amazon, and On Demand platforms on May 5th, 2020.

Arkansas, a crime thriller about two drug dealers gone rogue, was a movie that seemed like it had a lot of potential, but never fully formed cohesively. For a movie that was almost two hours, it didn’t feel like that much happened.

Liam Hemsworth and Clark Duke star as Kyle and Swin (Duke also directed this film), two small time drug dealers working for a mysterious drug kingpin find themselves working their way up the ladder. They move to Arkansas, living and working as park rangers by day, making large scale drug runs across state lines at night. When one of their clients follows them back to the park and murders their direct boss, Bright (played John Malkovich who did NOT have enough screen time IMO), Swin and Kyle decide to continue business as usual. They bury Bright and continue their drug runs, taking over the clients. Instead of fleeing and starting fresh, they view this as a promotion of sorts. What they don’t know is who Bright worked for – the true kingpin Frog, played by Vince Vaughn. Frog realizes something is off as all of these events collide with deadly results. Throw in a few side characters for effect, including Eden Brolin as Swin’s girlfriend and Vivica A. Fox as a client simply referred to as “Her” and you have Arkansas.

To me, this movie felt like it had the makings of a Tarantino- or Coen brothers-esque film, yet it never formed. I don’t feel like I truly ever understood any of the characters or had enough of their backstories to understand their motivations. Much of the scenes felt forcibly quirky, leaving me a bit confused as to what exactly was going on. It had its moments… I love Vince Vaughn and enjoy him taking on more serious roles like this, and I thought the ending was a very clever close to the movie. However, overall there was not enough personality or originality for this film to stand on its own legs. During quarantine, this movie may be worth checking out, if solely for the opportunity to stare at Liam Hemsworth for 2 hours.

Rating: 3 out of 5

LaurenLauren Gallagher (Contributor) is born and raised in South Jersey. When she isn’t yelling at Philly sports teams on the TV, she enjoys seeing the latest action films and true crime documentaries.
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