November 9, 2016 Suburban Cowboy (Movie Review)
Anti-heroes, or main characters that are not necessarily good people, are rising in prevalence in film/television. Reminiscent of movies such as 2012’s Savages comes the latest Thriller Suburban Cowboy, which premiered at the 2016 Austin Film Festival in October of 2016. C0-produced by Frank Raducz Jr. (48 States of Grandad 2015, Cafe Glass 2015), written/directed/produced by Ryan Colucci (White Space 2013, With You 2014), and co-directed by Dragan Roganovic (With You 2014), Suburban Cowboy is a gritty story that offers insight into the otherwise hidden world of drug dealing and its consequences.
The story revolves around Jay (Raducz Jr.), a Long Island, New York weed dealer, and his girlfriend Victoria (Alandrea Martin: Date Night 2010, No Actor Parking 2015) who are close to taking the next step in their relationship when one of Jay’s friends, Alex (Matty Finochio: 50/50 2011, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb 2014), and dealers arrives on his door step beaten up, but with the money he owes Jay. Initially angry at Alex for using his product for his own purposes, Jay is happy to have his money back. He tells another of his dealers, Petey (Luie Iaccarino: Common Outlaws 2014, Jupiter Ascending 2015), who suggests he uses the money to buy bulk MDMA and sell to make even more cash.
Considering the idea,Victoria demands he does not do it as the punishment is severe compared to weed, thus he then dismisses it. However, it does not take long before Jay discovers that Alex has stolen the money from a Serbian Gang, who wants it back from Jay and hold him responsible. Now having three days to give them $150,000.00, Jay first speaks to another dealer, Speedy (Scott Tovar: Wicked City 2015, Old E 2016), and friend BK (Vonn Harris: Razorblade City 2010, Airplane vs. Volcano 2014) for advice, realizing he must call in all his debts. After ensuring Victoria is safe, Jay starts collecting and holds nothing back in the process. From here, he does whatever it takes to keep himself and Victoria alive, even if it means lowering himself and taking advantage of Kurt the Cripple (Brian Johnson: The Devil Inside 2012, Wer 2013), and making deals with opposing drug dealers. In a single visit, Alex turns Jay’s world upside down, forcing him to get off his couch and take action. When he is faced with leaving the business or delving deeper into it, Jay makes a decision that will alter his and Victoria’s life forever.
Overall, the acting, dialogue, and plot in Suburban Cowboy are very solid. In addition, the action sequences, while simplistic, are well-performed. It is both slow-paced and fast-moving, with little difference in between. The movies initial musical sequence, also put together by Roganovic, and the associated animation, while graphic, are brilliant, setting a dark tone for the story and confirming Jay’s love of Comic Books and Werewolves. It may seem irrelevant to the plot to some viewers, but it actually offers insight into Jay’s character. It shows in fact there are two sides to him, one light, the other dark, and only a brush away from primal. Furthermore, the cinematography by Jakob Lofberg (Night Talk 2012, No Exit 2 – Rise Against 2013) captures the essence of the dark underworld Jay lives in. Despite him being a drug dealer, Colucci injects enough to like about Jay; when things go bad, the view feels empathy for him.
All this said, there is plenty of things to love about Suburban Cowboy thanks to its originality and complexity that will beg the viewers to watch it multiple times. The collaboration between Colucci and Roganovic is certainly promising, and this team is certainly one to keep an eye on in the future. For this reason, CrypticRock gives Suburban Cowboy 4 out of 5 stars.