Written and Directed by Keith Parmer
Reviewed by “Spooky” Stanton
Keith Parmer's latest movie Swelter is a tale of a classic heist gone wrong. Told from the point of view of initial flashbacks, back to the botched casino robbery. Ten years on the criminals involved, many of who served time for the crime, are now free from prison and seeking revenge on the one member of the group who evaded arrest and escaped with $10,000,000.
In the vein of Reservoir Dogs, Swelter is very Tarantino esq, from the way the moment is shot down to the way the modern take on a western plays out with the action. Swelter is very arty and is very much an ensemble cast piece. With the likes of Jean Claude Van Damme, Alfred Molina and Josh Henderson taking more of a backseat to the film's leads of Lennie James and Grant Bowler.
Though some of the characters are overshadowed by the core members of the crew, and the more well known members of the cast, they are often more engaging than the protagonists and leave you wanting to know more about them.
Lennie James plays Bishop, Baker's sheriff and the sole member of the gang who got away, although he doesn't remember the crime nor where he's hidden the cash. This puts not only him but those he love's and the whole town at risk from the greed and revenge the rest of the gang crave.
Some of which have more reason to hate him than the others, especially in the case of Grant Bowler's character Cole, the leader of the rag tag bunch of criminals. Having served time for the heist, he has lost the most of all of them. Now he wants what he's entitled to and he's willing to risk it all in order to get it.
As the leader of the gang, Cole is the only one that is able to control the others especially when it comes to the loose cannons of the group, his half brother Kane, played superbly by Daniele Favilli.
While not developed as much as some of the others, Kane is decidedly unhinged and has a penchant for going in all guns blazing in order to get what he wants, rather than taking on the more peaceful approach of Jean Claude Van Damme's character Stillman. Kane undoubtedly gets to see most of the action and also some of the more memorable scenes of the movie.
Swelter is a good reinvention of the classic western, with a modern day take. With enough action to drive the movie on its journey of greed and revenge. Although Swelter never reaches the fast pace of some other movies, the desire to know what happened to the cash and the need to know just who will survive keeps the viewers captivated until the end.
Overall I give Swelter an 8/10