Trouble Bound

(Jeffrey Reiner, USA, 1993)


Trouble Bound is an example of a style popular in independent American film of the ‘90s: not casually but strenuously hip, full of knowing lines and swaggering Elvis/Marilyn postures.


Jeffrey Reiner's road movie freely mixes elements from Wild at Heart (David Lynch, 1990) and Blood Simple (Joel Coen, 1984) in its overloaded story line.


A sociology major on a revenge mission (Patricia Arquette) joins up with a laconic criminal (Michael Madsen) with a large stash and each is separately being pursued by an assortment of hoods, mobsters and psychopaths. Madsen and Arquette, so impressive elsewhere, are not shown off to good effect.


This is one of those terminally flip movies that covers its recurring loss of dramatic conviction with another upbeat song on the soundtrack and yet another montage of cool cars zooming down the highway.


Cassavetes star Seymour Cassel gets to mug outrageously as the mob boss, to the point of calling the sociology major a "crazy feminist bitch" as he writhes in blood.

© Adrian Martin November 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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