By Andrew Buckner
Rating: **** out of *****.
From the animated opening until the grounded, riveting finale, Suburban Cowboy (2016) resonates palpable style and attitude in abundance. Skillfully directed by Ryan Colucci and two-time Grammy-nominee Dragan Roganovic, the 92-minute project chronicles the debt Jay (in a masterful portrayal by Frank Raducz Jr.), a Long Island drug dealer, is forced to pay. This is after someone in his inner-circle robs a Serbian gangster affiliate. Though based on a true story, the plot isn’t exactly mold-breaking. This can also be said of the narrative twists and characterizations. This criticism also extends to the general chain of events in the picture. Still, the Colucci-penned script is confidently paced and enjoyable. It also excels at satisfactorily developing its central figures. Moreover, the dialogue, though bound by the expected tough talk found in similar cinematic exercises of this ilk, is continuously credible. It augments the rugged atmosphere that readily courses through this Unbreakable Films production.
Further assisting matters are the previously undeclared performances. For example, Alandrea Martin is excellent as Victoria. Matty Finochio is stupendous as Alex. Correspondingly, the dark, immersive cinematography from Jakob Lofberg heightens the brooding tone. Such is an attribute Colucci and Roganovic beautifully orchestrates into the affair. Dirty South’s music is just as phenomenal and mood-setting. Additionally, Lucy Li’s costume design is superb. The lighting, editing (from Colucci and Roganovic) and sound work are just as stellar.
One of the best achievements herein is that, unlike many related endeavors, Colucci and Roganovic sparingly use their brutal and well-done action scenes. Regardless, a sense of menace and potential conflict always seems to hang over the proceedings. This is accurate of even the more exposition-heavy stretches. Such a quality boosts the underlying intensity of the piece tenfold. Connectively, Colucci and Roganovic’s debut feature never breaks its unyielding focus on those who populate the screen. These details only enhance the afore-mentioned authenticity that pulsates through every frame of the effort. In the end, these items come together to craft a gritty and massively entertaining crime saga. Suburban Cowboy is a real bulls-eye.
(Unrated). Contains graphic language, nudity and violence.
Available on Video on Demand in August of 2017.