Movie Review: "Prince Avalanche"

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An odd couple of sorts, meditative and stern Alvin (Paul Rudd) and his girlfriend’s brother, Lance (Emile Hirsch), dopey and insecure, leave the city behind to spend the summer in solitude repainting traffic lines down the center of a country highway ravaged by wildfire. As they sink into their job in the remarkable landscape, they learn more than they want to about each other and their own limitations.
3.5

Prince Avalanche is an offbeat comedy about two men tasked with painting traffic lines alongside a Texas highway that has recently been destroyed by a wildfire.

The desolate countryside acts as a beautifully interjected complement to the subtle yet charming performances delivered by both Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. Everything the film lacks in the way of thrills or excitement is made up for by the restrained chemistry between the two leading men.

During the day, the pair work on the road; at night, they tent-it-up in the burnt down woods. Alvin (who is played by Paul Rudd) has hired Lance (Hirsch) to help him with the highway job as a favor to Lance’s sister, who Alvin is dating via a long distance relationship. The film is set in 1988, so their only form of correspondence is an occasional letter.

Perhaps the biggest let-down of the film is that it lacks enough range to declare it an overall triumph. The characters are well developed and even better acted, but they never really take the audience anywhere far beyond the opening credits. The dialogue is real, but never thought-provoking or emotion inducing. The détente is—much like the rest of the film—docile, and the film ends with a bit that doesn't exactly pay off.

Overall, it’s a good enough movie with a well-acted story and a beautiful backdrop. Worth seeing? Sure, why not.

3.5 out of 5 stars