Reviews and Problems with What Doesn't Kill You
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What Doesn’t Kill You
28 January 2012
Excerpt: Brian (Mark Ruffalo) has been involved in criminal endeavors for as long as he can remember, even as children, he and his best friend Paulie (Ethan Hawke) were on the wrong side of the law. After fifteen years working on the streets for crime boss Pat (Brian Goodman), Brian has moved from picking up payoff packets to brutal enforcement work and beyond. While his work has gotten more violent, he hasn’t been able to escape it in the least.
Excerpt: What Doesn’t Kill You, from director Brian Goodman, who co-wrote the film with Donnie Wahlberg (yep) and Paul T. Murray, flew under a lot of radars despite a critically acclaimed though very limited theatrical run in 2008. Based on Goodman’s own life, the film may at first seem like a cliché ridden ‘crook with a good heart needs one last heist to make good’ story, there are a few interesting twists and turns that make the story a fair bit more than that.
Conclusion: Fans of gangster films should give What Doesn't Kill You a rental or even a blind buy. There are much worse movies to add to your library and chances are some of them are sitting on your shelf right now. While the mob genre has been done to death since the days of James Cagney, with true innovators of film reinvigorating the theme, Goodman has lived the life and offers his own perspective.
Excerpt: Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke star as friends who grew up like brothers on the gritty streets of south Boston. They do whatever it takes to survive, living by the code of their dog-eat-dog neighborhood. Petty crimes and misdemeanors grow into more serious offenses and eventually, they fall under sway to organized crime boss Pat Kelly.
Conclusion: 'What Doesn't Kill You' may be based on one man's extraordinary resurrection, but it's not an extraordinary film. This standard tale of loss and redemption features good performances, but the script and direction just aren't strong enough to lift the film out of the pack. Video, audio, and supplements are all run-of-the-mill, making this Blu-ray worthy of a rental at best.
Excerpt: If Brian Goodman's autobiographical South Boston crime drama What Doesn't Kill You hadn't arrived so soon after The Departed , Gone Baby Gone , and the New York-set Before The Devil Knows You're Dead , it might've seemed a lot fresher, and maybe even revelatory. Instead, Goodman's story of two low-level hoods–drug-addicted family man Mark Ruffalo and hard-bitten schemer Ethan Hawke–has to win an audience that's seen this story a lot lately.