Red Right Hand Review

Red Right Hand Review

Andie MacDowell makes for a great bad guy, but little else manages to make an impact in this generic action thriller.


PLOT: Cash is trying to live an honest and quiet life, but when Big Cat forces him back into her services, he proves capable of anything to protect the town and the only family he has left.

REVIEW: After 2020’s Fatman, I’ve been patiently waiting to see what the Nelms Brothers would get up to with their next venture. Their more low-budget approach to action has a lot of potential, especially with the right lead. And while they don’t have Mel Gibson, they do have Orlando Bloom re-entering the action genre. But this isn’t some bombastic, new take on blockbusters. Red Right Hand is similar to the action fare you’d find in the bargain bin at Walmart. The action itself is very staged and low impact. And the story fails to surprise, following down the same expected path that these movies often take. But there are some moments that stand out.

After his brother fails to pay back money for their farm, Cash must return to a life he’d left. Forced to commit crime for his family, he decides enough is enough, and takes the Queenpin of the area on. It’s a pretty basic setup, but it allows the audience to easily connect with the story’s purpose. Cash’s brother is a drunk who can’t take care of himself, let alone his teenage daughter. So Cash is tasked with doing both, all while trying not to get killed during his night job.

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Orlando Bloom is pretty decent as Cash, a man who’s got a past but is clearly trying to live an honest life. I was a little thrown off by his accent at first, but he settled into it. The role is about as stereotypical as you can get, but it mostly works as Bloom is always easy to root for. When I first heard about Red Right Hand, I was most interested in Andie MacDowell‘s turn as a villain. I really enjoyed her in Ready or Not, so I was happy to see this darker side to her. She seems to be reveling in it and is a clear highlight.

If, like me, you were hoping for a significant role of Garret Dillahunt then prepare to go on quite the journey because he was my favorite aspect. I won’t pretend it’s not a bumpy road getting there though. His preacher character doesn’t really come into his own until the second half and does feel a little roped in. Would have helped if he’d appeared in the first half a little more. The bad guys are comically evil, eating food that’s not theirs, laughing at their misdeeds, and treating everything like it’s their property. It’s pretty easy to root against these guys, even if the payoff isn’t entirely satisfying. The acting is a little all over the place, with many of the bad guys hardly able to even get their lines out.

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Andie MacDowell in Red Right Hand (2024).
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Unfortunately, the script is insanely weak, with nothing but small-town logic applied to the crimes. They seem to excuse everything with this just being set in the Appalachian Mountains. Characters are very quick to pull a gun intended for murder, even if it’s a cop. And the events unfold in the most obvious and stupid way possible, with characters appearing at opportune moments. Hell, there were even instances where the person firing the gun, didn’t make sense for the character placement in the scene.

I thought the one “sure thing” going into this film would be Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand” blaring out at some point. But we just never receive that. I just sat there, waiting for it to happen. And I think that’s a good summary of the film: just waiting for something to happen. When it finally does, there are some good moments, but those are few and far between. I liked where Red Right Hand ended up but the journey getting there was rather bland. Here’s hoping the next Nelms Brothers film finally puts all the pieces together.


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