Directed by: Erich Kemp
Written by: Ralph Cinque
Genre: Action , Drama
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My Stretch of Texas Ground
Trump would be too difficult a target, so we'll assassinate an outspoken congressman instead. It makes perfect sense for any terrorist leader planning to make a move that would end all conflict between the USA and the Middle East, for good. Doesn't it? Not really, but let's forget how preposterous that sounds for the moment and simply write that this scenario kicks this title into gear leaving only one remaining question. Who to do it? Abdul Latif Hassan (Junes Zahdi) seems to be the right choice. If anyone can pull this off it's him, and his hatred for war makes him the best for the job.
Not at all happy with US soldiers still being in Afghanistan, Arlettsville sheriff Joe Haladin (Jeff Weber) doesn't agree with his more racist and redneck friends. In his eyes, the torture tactics used by the USA do not align with American values, and this makes him the perfect opponent to Abdul's villainous behavior. As Abdul closes in, My Stretch of Texas Ground becomes a soapbox of political ideas both for and against the whole Middle East situation. Written by Ralph Cinque, this is a story of what it takes to change ideals and just how far a person will go to protect. Family and country. Although a political yarn, this title is also an action flick first and foremost. At least that was the plan.
This is a big movie. From border crossing violence, to assassination attempts, kidnapping, and the required personal scenarios needed for this type of title, director Erich Kemp had a lot on his plate. When you stop to consider this was a micro-budget venture, there's a lot of praise to be handed out. My Stretch of Texas Ground is actually a pretty good independent film. That doesn't mean it easily stacks up to a large scale one hundred million dollar production, but it handles itself pretty well. In the final act, it's indie status becomes more evident but still, even in the end, this title feels much bigger and better than many of its micro-budget counterparts. Its message that even the worst of us are not always hate-filled individuals was not lost on me. That's a huge plus for this type of film. At least Kemp, Cinque, and the cast tried to keep that message front and center.
The acting itself is better than most micro-budget movies I've watched lately, but is still filled with over or underacting. There's a subplot involving Joe and his son and although it's an interesting idea to add to the film, a lot of their moments felt off. This entire title is like this. Good and bad when discussing the acting, and even the action in the film. It's uneven, as if the different scenes of the movie were done by two different people. Am I being harsh? Maybe, maybe not. It all comes down to what I see onscreen. When you come across some really good parts in the film, you know the ability is present. Then you come to a scene that is not as good as others and wonder why? If one spot can be good can't they all?
My Stretch of Texas Ground is an action film with only a slight peppering of action. It's a political film that attempts to do something different, and succeeds only half the time - never quite bringing to fruition any one genre. But it's also good enough to warrant an above average review. That doesn't happen all that often when discussing micro-budget movies. Everyone will have their own opinions on the exact nature of this title. For me, it was all right but not a movie I'll still be talking about a year from now. If you're into politically based action movies, this title will fill the gap for a time. If not, perhaps this isn't the title for you.