Hey folks, Valkor here. And I welcome you to TOV's "30 in 30", where I'll review 30 unique film and maybe some not so unique, all in 30 days. What's cool for most of the flicks, is that I know nothing about em. So this should be a real treat not just for you guys, but for me as well. Good or bad, this is gonna be a fun month. It all starts today July the 4th and ends on Aug the 3rd. Can I make it through? We'll know soon enough!
For our second film, we make the switch from an action/drama with a lame assassin to… Thomas Hayden Church as a Janitor? Oh, this should be interesting. Check it out – Don McKay.
Thomas Hayden Church plays Don McKay, a man who left his home town for 25 years and is currently working as a school janitor. At the school, he receives a letter from his ex, Sonny (Elisabeth Shue) and returns to town to find out that Sonny is dying and wants to kick start their relationship - even marry Don before she dies. But after a violent confrontation with her doctor, Dr. Lance Pryce (James Rebhorn), the man is ends up dead. Don asks an old time friend Otis (Keith David) to help get rid of the body. However Otis is reluctant at first, but he finally agrees. So now Don not only has to deal with the body, but also a lot of other strange shit, like what's up with Sonny's caretaker Marie (Melissa Chessington Leo), the way she talks and acts around him… she knows something or is up to something. And why does Sonny keep talking about Dr. Pryce, even though Don knows she couldn't have spoken to the guy since he killed him? And also, what's she hiding, because she too acts very suspicious? Everything stems back from when Don left town. And when it's time for the big reveal, the shit hits the fan for Don. And oh boy, the SHIT really hits the fan!!
Alas, you really can't go home again, can you?
Don McKay is one of hell of a film, wrought with crazy twist and turns that will raise an eyebrow here and there. For the most part the pacing of the film is slow but steady; there are no suspenseful build ups or any serious tension, but still it's quite an enjoyable drama. Personally, I thought the ending needed a bit more bite, but it works and wraps things up nicely. I thought Thomas Church churned out a wonderful performance as lonely man Don McKay. Though I didn't pity him as much as I'd have liked to, still I felt a connection with the character and I just wanted him to get through this unscathed and return back to his miserable life. Elisabeth Shue, another solid performance, maybe a bit hammy but still good. Stand-out, lovable character goes to M. Emmet Walsh as Samuel the cab driver. Yea his role is brief, but you'll remember him for sure. David Keith, always a pleasure to watch in any film, though, as I recall, the last time someone tried to convince a Keith David character about something, they got into a fight with him for hmmmm….. 20 minutes, give or take. Thankfully that doesn't happen here. Finally the overall story – it's not bad; definitely a film that will hold your attention.
There isn't much to say in the bad department. I thought the film could have used more of a suspenseful build-up. The ending, while good, could have ended… hmmm…. Less goofy? If you watch the film, you'll see what I mean.
Don McKay is an awesome film, filled with great actors to help tell the tale. Though not the most suspenseful film I've ever watched with a crazy ending, it definitely has its charm and well worth the watch. So out of TOV 5 stars, I give Don McKay 3.5 stars. And it's been Valkor tested, TOV Approved!