DALLAS BUYERS CLUB [2013] movie review

January 18, 2014 · Print This Article

And I watched yet another Oscar contending movie based on a true story, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB [2013]. Surely this will come to be the biggest trend of 2013 movies, the ones based on true stories getting so much attention. However, I do not think DALLAS deserves to be nominated for best picture. It is a very good movie, but does not stand out in any aspect.

Matthew McConaughey lost a tremendous amount of weight to play Ron Woodroof, so much so I was never comfortable looking at him the entire movie. His skin seemed to be stretched too tightly over his bones. As we meet Woodroof there is absolutely nothing to like about him. He is a card cheat, a gambler, a heavy drug user and overtly racist and homophobic, not to mention just an obnoxious person that cusses loudly in hospitals. I thought the director had his work cut out for him to make us come to like this character, or perhaps we were never meant to like him, just respect his will to survive. For me it was the latter, he never really changed all that much, though he did soften a bit and come to care about a few people, most notably Jared Leto’s character Rayon. Nevertheless he remained a hustler as he sold unapproved drugs to others with HIV via a clever scheme of using a buyer’s club. It was illegal to directly sell drugs to people, so instead you pay to be a member of a club that gives out free drugs!

Once Woodroof is setup in his buyer’s club, the movie kind of loses its pacing. It becomes uneven and just a series of challenges of securing more supply of drugs and flirting with getting shut down by the FDA. We do learn more about how AZT actually hurt people more than it helped until it was used in different dosages and that drug companions pay off the FDA and essentially doctors to use their products, but that is nothing new to anyone nowadays.

There is very little build toward any climax and things get confusing with why and how drugs are suddenly not able to be sold in the U.S. anymore. Then there is a court hearing that I thought went against Woodroof, but apparently did not. Somewhere is bad editing. This hurt the flow and when Woodroof gets a rousing welcome back home, I was only confused for why all the cheering until the tagline came up just before the closing credits. DALLAS sheds light on a difficult subject matter to portray and that the movie is entertaining enough is a credit to it. It’s just not one of the ten best movies of the year because it chose to do so.


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