Bad Day For The Cut

I'm not sure what to say about Bad Day For The Cut. It's a perfectly adequate movie. But something about it was very underwhelming. That may have been the final quarter of the film, as it felt like it lost focus and tried to change the message.

Bad Day For The Cut is about middle-aged Irishman, Donal, taking care of his mother on their quaint farm instead of living his own life. He's hectored by young locals at the pub and lives a sort of sad existence until his mother is murdered in their home while he drunkenly sleeps in their garage. He catches a glimpse of one of the killers, setting off a chain of events that ends in retribution.

For those who don't care to see it for themselves, I'll continue a little more explicitly. You see, some sort of Irish crime-lord is his mother's killer and, upon witnessing one man leaving the scene, a couple of young thugs are sent to kill Donal and pose it as a suicide. They're not particularly competent, though, and Donal manages to murder one and take the other, Bartosz - a fuck-up Polish immigrant trying to free his sister from sex trafficking, as a hostage-cum-sidekick.

The revenge plot, on this occasion, is driven not by the murder itself but the attempt to kill and silence him and the ensuing questions as to what is going on and why. And that's probably the best part of the film, the first two-thirds, where Donal captures and tortures Bartosz's boss to find out who he works for, the tracking down of the family history that led to his mother's death, the rescue of Bartosz's sister from forced prostitution. It feels like it's going to actually tie up into something worthwhile, up until the point he sends Bartosz and his sister away before his final, potentially suicidal attempt to get vengeance. At that point, the movie loses the thread.

Often, I can see the seams of a film and how it could easily be fixed to work better, but in this case I'm honestly not sure what I would have done differently. I just know I wouldn't have written the ending as it stands. I appreciate that, while somewhat reluctant as an avenger, Donal never falls into the terrible and hated trope of being so reluctant that he avoids doing any completely reasonable act of violence that a normal person would commit under the circumstances. Donal gladly tortures people when appropriate and, while not gleeful, does what needs to be done under the circumstances. But, in those final few minutes, I found myself yelling at my TV for him to just shoot someone and be done with it. Instead the movie drags things out a bit too much, Donal apparently willing to walk away from his mother's psychopathic killer, who also trafficks young girls and murders indiscriminately, because maybe his mother did something bad as well and it's trying to make some inept Irish point about the nature of revenge. Ultimately, the confrontation ends in death, but Bartosz, being the fuckwit he is, tries to find Donal to "help" and gets himself killed, leaving a fade-to-black as Donal regretfully sits and ponders the further revenge that needs to be meted out. This ending probably came out of the Irish nature of the film, as it's not satisfying or particularly interesting for anyone watching it. It honestly dragged down the enjoyment of the film substantially. But the Irish love to navel-gaze about the decades they spent arguing about whose imaginary god is the better one, like murderous children bickering over which flavor of gum is the more "correct" one. As such, I suppose they can't leave anyone with the impression that revenge is justified or gets results, despite how obviously untrue that is under most circumstances.

Perhaps, without that last 15 minutes or so, it wouldn't have sucked all the life out of the movie and killed my opinion of it. But that's not the movie they made.