Story: FBI agents Karl (Bruce Willis) and Rebecca (Megan Fox) have been working to track and shut down a sex trafficking operation, but soon their investigation takes some unexpected turns. After shaking down a clownish criminal (Machine Gun Kelly), Rebecca learns she just missed her actual target and is sent down a new investigative path. She and Karl begin to rethink the scope of what they’re dealing with, especially when it becomes clear that a serial killer might be involved and Rebecca’s close call with a suspect could have been the killer. Meanwhile, a local cop Byron (Emile Hirsch) has been working the serial killer case on his own for a while now, though few on the force believe the cases are connected. As the trio close in on the killer and things take some tragic twists, can two agents and a beat cop bring down a serial killer or will they end up as the next victims?
Entertainment Value: I admit upfront, Midnight in the Switchgrass is a b movie spectacle at times, with a lot of unintentional humor and cringe, but that is why I was entertained here and while it is not a classic, it is so bad, it sometimes manages to be hilarious. Now this is a serial killer thriller, so ridiculous moments might not be what you’re after, but if you appreciate hokey performances, laughable twists, and erratic writing, there’s a small buffet of those traits here. And that is when the movie is the most enjoyable, when the dialogue is stilted or the performances are inexplicable, or Bruce Willis rattles his lines off with no emotion or inflection whatsoever. The narrative is passable I suppose, it does have a decent serial killer thread at its core, but as I mentioned, the inconsistent tone derails the thriller side of the movie, as it is hard to build tension when the audience is laughing or groaning. The pace runs a little slow, but it isn’t that bad and between the wackiness and the frequent shifts in narrative focus, Midnight in the Switchgrass never feels it drags. I can’t give this a strong recommendation, but it wouldn’t a bad rental or streaming choice if you like Willis or Fox.
If you’ve ever wanted to watch a movie where Bruce Willis is joined by Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly, then Midnight in the Switchgrass is what you’ve awaited. Fox has one of the leads, so she’s around a lot, but Kelly has a much smaller role, which is going to be good news or bad, depending on how you view the celebrity couple. The two share all of Kelly’s scenes, as he pops up from time to time as a low level pimp and gets into banter with Fox. I have no idea what purpose it served, other than light exposition advancement, but that’s the deal. Fox is not great and doesn’t really seem interested here, as she has no real presence or weight behind her performance. She isn’t believable here as a detective and that’s a shame, as she has some good work on her resume. Willis also has a good deal of screen time and to me, his performance here was better than his usual efforts from this era of his career. He covers the basics and seems at least mildly present most of the time, so fans should at least have a decent time here. The cast also includes Emile Hirsch, Tyler Jon Olson, Lydia Hull, and Lukas Haas.
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