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July 9, 2012

Movie Review: Bullhead (2012, Blu-ray)

As far as foreign films go, I haven't seen any from Belgium until now. I'm happy to have access to so many interesting international films, especially since we just keep regurgitating the same tired garbage here in the States. Bullhead is one of those interesting movies. It definitely has a unique storyline. Jacky is a man in his early thirties who breeds cattle for slaughter. He has connections to organized crime so that he can obtain illegal growth hormones that give the cattle more meat.On top of it all, Jacky is using steroids, and they effect his mood. On the brink of a new deal, everything is falling apart.

If you don't pay attention, things get confusing quickly. As the story begins, we learn that a police officer who was investigating illegal cattle steroids was murdered. This isn't good for anyone through the course of the movie. Jacky deals with his uncle. He also has a partner that gets the cattle drugs. They are connected to another contact for the drugs. Two mechanics are accidentally involved. Jacky's best childhood friend shows up, along with two other cops. It's very Pulp Fiction, minus the humor.

The twists and turns in Bullhead make it interesting, and they make you pay attention. There's no way to do anything else while watching this movie, or you'll be lost. Listening to the combination of Dutch and French while reading the subtitles is interesting. The character of Jacky is compelling, and as we head into flashbacks, we learn about a childhood trauma that makes you ease up on your opinion of him. It's brutal, and an interesting way to go.

Bullhead is well worth watching if you're into crime dramas. This is a different kind of character piece. You get to know a few interesting people, but Jacky is the focus. He is played very well by Matthias Schoenaerts. Jacky's story is intriguing and heartbreaking at the same time. The rest of the cast is also great. I couldn't pick a bad one in the bunch. If you want something different that takes some participation, Bullhead is for you. I found it to be a nice change of pace.

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