Sling Blade Screen 2 articles

Sling Blade

1996

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  • Dropped into the middle of a southern backwater populated by densely realized, fully recognizable individuals, Karl is a minimalist construction: morally and dramatically, he functions as a catalyst on this world when he’s released from the hospital shortly after the film begins. Thornton may deserve the attention he’s received for his performance as Karl, but as writer he’s assigned himself none of the familiarity or readability of the other characters. Yet we’re mesmerized by him...

  • The final confrontation, in which Dwight Yoakam's previously volatile Doyle can't even be bothered to stir himself when a convicted murderer (more or less) holding a lawnmower blade announces that he's going to kill him, blandly giving Karl the number to dial for an ambulance ("or a hearst [sic], if you're gonna kill me") may be the most creepily lethargic showdown of all time.

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