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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Kris Lemche, David J. Phillips, Christopher Redman, Darrel Davenport, Nathan Marlow, Roberto Sanchez, Christie Rounds
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Cole Mueller
MPAA RATING
Rated NR (Equiv. to "R")
RUNNING TIME
95 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
FilmWorks Entertainment (DVD)
DVD EXTRAS
Audio Commentary; Original Soundtrack; Trailer; Photo Gallery
 "Green Guys" Review 
Travis (Kris Lemche), Andrew (David J. Phillips), Billy (Christopher Redman) and Levi (Darrel Davenport) are hotshot Wall Street investors living the wildlife and believing themselves invincible - When they make one wrong move and try to scam the most vicious drug lord in Mexico (Roberto Sanchez), their invincibility comes into question and their scheme begins to collapse. Then, a rookie FBI agent, Mike Northcutt (Nathan Marlow) picks up their trail and begins to catch on to their multi-layered, international Ponzi scheme designed to steal hundreds of millions from their unsuspecting investors.

Written and directed by Cole Mueller, Green Guys has an old school slickness about itself with an abundance of sophisticated style and slick, smooth performances from its ensemble cast. With a production budget just over six figures, Mueller accomplishes major bang for the buck with a film that looks and feels like a million bucks.

Despite Green Guys clearly being an ensemble film, Mueller has wisely built the film around the four distinct personalities making up our hotshot quartet. Travis is the unpredictable hothead who, perhaps, isn't exactly trustworthy. Andrew is the operations genius, but also the most humanely portrayed given his grounding relationship with girlfriend Heather (Christie Rounds). Billy, at least initially, seems to be the most vulnerable of the bunch with an inner nerd who seems to want to conquer the world and, finally, there's Levi, arguably the group's brashest and outspoken leader. The film really begins to sizzle once the fractures within the scheme begin to appear and we journey from young hotshots to immature young men in way over their heads.

Of the leading four, Christopher Redman gives the strongest performance as the vulnerable Billy. Billy is targeted early on by the up-and-coming FBI agent with an attitude of his own and a to make a name for himself. Redman, who was also seen recently in The Big Year, is most convincing when his character is called upon to be emotionally complex. His initially "conversation" with Agent Northcutt is filled with a quiet anxiety as you find yourself wondering if Billy's going to crack. Redman's Billy is constantly simmering underneath, and it's his ability to give Billy an emotional grounding that gives the film a tremendous amount of gravitas. There really isn't a weak performance among the leading players, however, with Lemche, Davenport and Phillips all having moments to shine.

D.P. Matt Marzulo's camera work is top notch, while Lucas Vidal contributes a stylish and energizing original score. In fact, kudos must be given to the entire production team for transcending their limitations and creating an entertaining, thrilling and suspenseful crime thriller.

Green Guys has been picked up by FilmWorks Entertainment for a home video release and hits the streets on November 22, 2011. Fans of older Scorsese will find much to enjoy here as the young Cole Mueller, a recent USC School of Cinematic Arts graduate, is definitely a cinematic voice we'll be hearing from again.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic  
    The Official Rating Guideline
    • A+ to A: 4 Stars                
    • A- to B+: 3.5 Stars            
    • B: 3 Stars                         
    • B- to C+: 2.5 Stars           
    • C: 2 Stars
    • C- to D+: 1.5 Stars
    • D: 1 Star
    • D-: .5 Star
    • F: Zero Stars

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