Film - Blunt Force Trauma

Blunt Force Trauma

Chris Smith dons a bullet proof vest and gets involved in the action as he watches Blunt Force Trauma...

Underground fight-clubs are clearly no longer enough and the hard men of the world have now gone retro and taken to shooting each other at 50 paces – albeit wearing bullet-proof vests. John (Ryan Kwanten) is a secretive man who wants a shot at challenging legendary shooter, Zorringer (Mickey Rourke). After being rebuffed by the organizer, John is given one week to prepare himself for any possible duel. Cole (Freida Pinto) is another duellist, deadly and beautiful, hunting the man who killed her brother. Forced to enter an alliance of convenience with John, they set off across the South American countryside, with dust and bullets in their wake.

Blunt Force Trauma is a modern Western: two gunslingers blazing through the desert in a cherry-red automotive steed, seeking revenge and glory, living off their wits and their guns. In this regard, Blunt Force Trauma works very well, as it’s a film based around a simple concept, executed well with two characters that have singular desires, take risks and live on the edge.


This is an action film but one that doesn’t lose itself amongst explosions and stunts that laugh in the face of physics. Its writing and direction is understated and subtle and has two leads in Pinto and Kwanten who can carry a scene excellently, even if the attraction between them seems a little forced at times. The vests turn the matches from “quickest shot wins” to tests of endurance – and where death might come from the titular injury. Blunt Force Trauma is well-paced but quiet in tone. Instead of a loud, noisy festival of violence and death, we receive something softer. Blunt Force Trauma plays out in the hidden places, far from the law, and yes, while John and Colt kill and accept death as part of their lifestyles they don’t actively seek it. Thus, both remain interesting characters even if the haste in which they fall into bed will leave many shaking their heads.

Regrettably, Rourke doesn’t make an appearance until near the film’s end, nearly reducing Zorringer to those end of level bosses found in video games. This is a great shame as Rourke deserves better. The small amount of screen time is important but some may be left unsatisfied by the ending. Thankfully, Pinto and Kwanten are so good, the lack of Rourke presence doesn’t detract from the film but it’s fair to assume fans might be left disappointed.

Solid and subtle, and more Western than action, Blunt Force Trauma is a fine film that offers something different but won’t be for everyone.


Image - IMDb.