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Movie reviews The Butcher

This is a fascinating crime drama, starring the dependable Eric Roberts (Final Analysis , big brother of Julia Roberts) as Merle Hench, an enforcer for a mob headed by regular on-screen baddie, Robert Davi (License to Kill) playing Murdoch, with an impressive Irish accent.

We meet Merle as he deals with some street punks that have stepped into his territory, however on his return to a meeting with Murdoch and all his henchmen he is reprimanded for not dealing with the punks more forcefully, much to his embarrassment in front of everybody.

Murdoch suggests to Merle about retiring, and using some of the money he has saved up for some kind of pension plan, and to let the “young bloods” take the risks. Merle politely declines the offer, and heads back to his routine, of gambling with a local money lender Larry Cobb played by Keith David (Crash), and flirting with a waitress Jackie played by the gorgeous Irina Bjorklund (even more impressive she is Finnish, with no trace of a dialect), at a bar he frequents who Merle affectionately calls “Dollface“. He asks her unexpectedly if she would be willing to leave her life and go on the road with him, she tells him to be careful how he phrases it, because one day she just might.

It just so happens such an opportunity presents itself, Merle gets set up by one of Murdoch’s henchmen to rob an establishment that holds money belonging to the Mafia, with Doyle played by Paul Dillon (the Lao speaking manager in one of the episodes of C.S.I.) as their caretaker, as the place is robbed Merle manages to shoot down some of Murdoch’s henchmen, this puts him in good favour with Doyle who believes his story that he has been set up. During the ensuring robbery Merle comes upon a bag with several thousands of dollars in it, he takes the cash and makes a proposal to Jackie to run away with him, she says it wouldn’t be the most silliest thing she has ever done, but if she didn’t she would regret it for the rest of her life, and so she comes along with him.

Jackie suggests to Merle to explain to Doyle that Murdoch was behind his framing, and if he can get Doyle to chase Murdoch for the remainder of the cash that was stolen they would both be able to get away without looking behind their backs. Unfortunately things are not so clear cut, as Doyle had surveillance video footage all around the area when the robbery occurred, and Merle was seen taking a stray bag, which Doyle would like back.

The couple’s desperate attempt to flee when they are being pursued by Murdoch and his henchmen, as well as the various interests of the Mafia is what keeps the suspense going, if they can survive to start again, as well as Merle getting over “The Butcher” nickname he has come to hate so much.

As action crime dramas go, this is a very decent movie, we even get to sympathise with our protagonist, although he is in a criminal organisation he simply wants to turn a new leaf.

Merle Hench (Eric Roberts) in the unfortunate establishment

Posted By Blogger to Movie reviews on 12/01/2009 02:29:00 AM

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