Matthew McConaughey stars as Baker Dillon, a fishing captain on Plymouth Island in this thriller written and directed by Steven Knight.
The Iraq War vet spends his days on the island taking out his boat, Serenity with his mate (Djimon Hounsou) on board, along with an occasional paying customer. He makes just enough money to pay for his booze and enough gas to allow him to indulge in his obsession of catching a gigantic fish that keeps eluding him.
He’s content to fish, drink and visit his female friend (Diane Lane, in a thankless role) for sex, that is, until his ex-wife Karen (Anne Hathaway) shows up with an offer.
Karen is a cool beauty, all dressed in white with a plan. She tells Baker that her new, rich husband (Jason Clarke) beats her and mistreats Baker’s teenage son, who stays on his computer in a darkened room. She’ll pay him $10 million to kill him. All he has to do is take him out on the boat, get him drunk and push him overboard.
Pack up the liquor-soaked dreams, the silly dialogue, obscure symbolism and continual shots of a naked McConaughey, and you might have had a pretty good thriller.
Serenity is simply the name of the boat fisherman Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey) owns and uses to make a living. He is also obsessed with a large Tuna named Justice, which he tirelessly works at catching. He almost becomes as Captain Ahab from Moby Dick. Nothing appears to matter to Dill as he searches for the big fish.
But all of that begins to appear to be unreal in a failed script that is filled with confusion along with a story that lacks reality and common sense. Dill who lives on an island called Plymouth drives regularly through sugar cane fields in a car that he drives from the right side of the vehicle. Where he is in the World is not clear. He is also constantly drunk, smokes all the time and has a regular affair with Constance placed by a sultry Diane Lane.
A strange sales man played by Jeremy Strong continues to show up at various locations usually too late to engage Dill in conversation in which he wants Dill to endorse a fish location product. All of that is a waste of time for Dill and the script.
When Anne Hathaway appears as his sexy former wife, his controlled life changes. She proposes that Dill kill her present husband (Jason Clarke) because he is harming both her and Rafel Sayegh,the son she shares with Dill. Not only does she offer herself, she places ten million dollars on the table as a payoff for the demise of her present husband. Dill’s only declares concern is for his son.
Next we are exposed to the son who constantly plays on his computer and is considered a genius at the keyboard. He congers up solutions and situations which are far beyond his capacity which include sexual situations and bloody fighting that fills the screen.
Even with the fine casting, I’m surprised this film didn’t go directly to video. The entire plot folds like a TV screen that has interference and is breaking up. What keeps our initial attention fades with time as does the entire plot. The resolution doesn’t sell and all of the work and build up toward the climax falls flat.