Slow Burn

1 bone dogRated: R
Stars: Minnie Driver, James Spader, Josh Brolin

This is a tale of greed and betrayal in the hot desert sun.

Minnie Driver stars as Trina McTeague, a woman who has spent her entire life searching the desert for her great grandmother’s lost diamonds. Paulina McTeague carried with her the family’s fortune in diamonds but came to be buried in the blazing sand. The next three generations of her family searched and lost their lives to greed and betrayal and Trina is determined not to suffer the same fate. Still, she is not about to let anything come in the way of her search for the diamonds. Family friend Frank (Stuart Wilson) is there to guide the process but only for a time, then he packs it in, calling the search hopeless and he bids Trina farewell.

Soon, two escaped convicts stumble into her deseret world and right onto her treasure, then they come upon Trina herself. Marcus (a dark haired James Spader with a weasley Strother Martin type personality) and Duster (Josh Brolin) play slightly confused cousins, loser types who hope to exploit Trina’s expertise and have her lead them out of the desert where they can finally buy themselves new lives.

Trina soon discovers their find and tries to steal the diamonds back but meets with bad luck. When her truck becomes damaged, she realizes that she must use their help to repair it and so an alliance of sorts is forged. Then it’s back and forth, playing the men against each other as she tries to get the diamonds and dump the duo. Along the way, she develops feelings for the simple-minded Duster after Marcus makes it clear that Duster is expendable. Suspense is added with the reappearance of Frank who heard about the escaped convicts.

Lotta says: I rather liked the story, although even at 98 minutes, it seemed way too long. Spader and Brolin, did good jobs playing their rather stereotypical roles. There was some well-placed humor along the way. And Driver did a decent job as the woman obsessed. Expect a low-budget character study with mild suspense.