The Review/Short Read/

Hump Day Movie: Green Room

Jeremy Saulnier's thriller finds punk rock anarchy in a box cutter

May 11, 2016

Cannes begins this week and with it, thousands of the industry's finest flock towards the Croissette to enjoy two weeks of yacht-related revelry, artfully plated amuse-bouche and auteur cinema. Tuxedos are being pressed, shoes are being shined and dresses are being frantically finished, all for the walk up to the storied Palais. Someone will inevitably be turned away due to a lack of appropriate footwear. France is a serious place for serious cinema, you guys. Don't wear boat shoes.

How better to mark this black tie affair than by recommending a hyper-violent film about a punk band squaring off against a group of neo-Nazis, led by Captain Jean-Luc Picard (a.k.a. Sir Patrick Stewart)? After playing at last year's Cannes Festival and kicking ass at TIFF's Midnight Madness program, Jeremy Saulnier's Green Room is completely ridiculous, unflinchingly ruthless and totally awesome.

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Anton Yelchin stars as Pat, the bassist of Green Room's punk band The Ain't Rights, who, on tour and desperate for money, agree to play a show in a skinhead bar in rural Oregon. It's run by Darcy, played with all of the relish of a man enjoying a finely-cooked steak, by Patrick Stewart. The Ain't Rights perform for a crowd of super terrifying white supremacists, opening with a cover of The Dead Kennedys' "Nazi Punks Fuck Off." They manage to win over the crowd, and are about to leave the club when they witness the aftermath of a murder of a young female patron. Darcy corrals the band in the green room with the murdered woman's best friend Amber (played with verve by Imogen Poots), and decides that they've "seen too much" and must be eliminated. So begins a seriously gory cat-and-mouse-game that involves German-trained pit bulls, expert uses of Brazillian jiu-jitsu and lots and lots of bullets. Not for the faint of heart, Green Room clips along for its 90-minutes of utter mayhem. You'll never look at a box-cutter the same way again.

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