Movie Review: Promised Land - Damon and Krasinski's show


Promised Land: Damon and Krasinski's show

-- “Promised Land” is the movie that Matt Damon and “The Office’s” John Krasinski teamed up to write. Damon was even going to direct at one time before scheduling conflicts encouraged them to bring on Damon’s “Good Will Hunting” and “Gerry” director Gus Van Sant to help out.

Damon plays Steven, the VP of Land Management of a natural gas company who travels with his partner (Frances McDormand) to the rural town of McKinley in order to buy up people’s land and drill for gas. He promises money and a better future for all but the school science teacher, Frank Yates (Hal Holbrooke), knows of the risks of fracking and the arrival of Dustin (Krasinski), an environmentalist with evidence of fracking’s poor effects only make it harder to convince people to sign their land over.

This is obviously a movie with a lot of strong issues on its mind and Damon’s Steve, an essentially good guy who doesn’t want to see another small town die from lack of industry just as his boyhood home did, and Krasinski’s Dustin, a man whose tactics are so based on spreading fear that you know there is more to him than meets the eye, keep it relatively interesting to watch. Van Sant’s leisurely pacing allows them to take center stage. Just I wanted more. The views of the townspeople are few and far between and Damon’s romance with a school teacher, played by Rosemarie DeWitt, just fizzles mostly cause no one in this film seems to have much of a personal side. This all leads up to a clever twist ending that answers a few questions but you feel like “Promised Land” is a decent debate that could have been infused with a bit more attention to character.