I had high hopes for Prince Avalanche. Sure, it looked like an overtired, typical indie flick. But I was hoping David Gordon Green, who brought us Pineapple Express, would be able to give us an interesting spin on this overdone film trope.
In the late 1980s, Alvin (Paul Rudd) and Lance (Emile Hirsch) take a summer job repainting road lines in a rural Texas county, which had recently been ravaged by a devastating wildfire. The two couldn’t be more different, Alvin is a blowhard and tries to mask his insecurities with self-righteous “moral” standards. Lance, Alvin’s girlfriend’s brother, is carefree and rather arrogant at times.
I would be hard-pressed to call this film a typical “bromance,” though it does evoke that sensibility at times. Instead, it’s a rather anti-climatic film that attempts to achieve a strong level of poignancy. It ultimately fails and becomes another washed-up piece of indie cinema.
Though they were only minor characters, I wish the woman and truck driver had been more thoroughly developed. Hands down, my favorite scene was with Alvin and the woman when they look for her book in the ruins of her home. The awkward editing of this scene somehow worked and I wish the film continued with that offbeat style. The editing accompanied with the music created a hallucinatory, dreamlike effect but the film disappointingly returned to its stereotypical indie narrative.
The acting was pretty solid – Hirsch and Rudd definitely have onscreen chemistry and they redeemed the film. In the end, I wish David Gordon Green had been able to bring us the humor found in Pineapple Express and Eastbound & Down. I was pretty disappointed overall but the film is definitely watchable. It’s a good movie to throw on when hanging out with a couple of friends, the kind of film that doesn’t require 100% attention to enjoy.