Blood Ties (2013)

by missizziemcguinness


‘Put down the gun’ 

Blood Ties is about a policeman called Frank (Billy Crudup) who takes in his brother Chris (Clive Owen) after Chris is released from prison in the 1970s. However, Chris’ criminal past hasn’t left him and the brothers’ relationship suffers. The movie also stars Mila Kunis as Clive Owen’s character’s love interest and eventual wife Natalie and James Caan as Frank and Chris’ and their sister’s ill father.

Firstly, I would like to apologize for the overflow of Clive Owen films recently. It might look as if I’m trying to turn this blog into a Clive Owen fan page but I’m really not. He’s just one of my favourite actors and I like how he tackles all his characters in his films as I admire his work, and his character in Blood Ties was ruthless, violent and unpredictable. He also looked very handsome but also very rough in his long leather jacket, and excuse my bad language but his character was a massive a-hole. There were also a lot of other recognizable faces in the movie, such as Charlie St Cloud and obviously James Caan, who I saw previously in the Christmas movie Elf.

The film itself was raw and gritty, and I think it is shown from the male gaze due to the fact that the women were shown as sexual objects, or things that can be thrown away or pushed to the side if the man feels like it, therefore displaying male- female dominance. I also found that it was a very manly film. I don’t know about you but the way that they portrayed and treated the women in this film is disgusting, but I didn’t expect anything else from a gang of criminals in a crime thriller movie. I also generally don’t like Mila Kunis as an actress. Some of her stuff is alright, while some of it is not but I didn’t mind her in this film to an extent. I liked the vast array of cars that they showed in the film, and if I would recommend this film to anyone, I would recommend it to my two best guy friends, who both like cars and motorbikes.

I always assumed that the 70s (because I wasn’t around then) was full of the disco scene, but this film proved me wrong. Nobody was faithful to each other, no character in the movie was safe, giving the full view of the underworld in Brooklyn, America. I also thought that it dragged on a bit at times but the final scene was up to the viewers interpretation, therefore having an open ending. Clive Owen’s character was thuggish and harsh but at least he got what he deserved in the end. There was a shot of him positioned higher than his ex wife, and by the end he was positioned lower than his brother, therefore vulnerable and dragged down enough to face his punishment. I liked the use of the dark cinematography and the obvious violent undertones rose from the surface. Those types of tones are all too common in mostly all of Clive Owen’s movies.

Overall, a decent movie with a great cast, but it sometimes dragged but it pulled itself together eventually, giving you hints but surprised you with the open ending. I might have to watch it again to find what I didn’t pick up on the first time round.