Movie Review: ‘One Buck’

Review by Mark Merrell

In a small town in Louisiana near the bayou, a police detective, Harry Maggio (John Freeman, Redemption: For Robbing The Dead, Luna, Road Wars) is trying to track down a serial killer. Harry is facing several personal issues. Just after finding out and celebrating the onset of his wife’s pregnancy, she is killed. Harry cannot resolve his wife’s passing, relying on drugs (primarily cocaine) and alcohol to ease his mental anguish.

His fellow officers have also taken note of his new vices, as has an investigative team from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. His sister, Amara (Katie Ryan, Ice, Skin) is struggling to raise her son, and is Harry’s best friend as well.

As the film opens, we are on a flat boat in the middle of the swamp, or bayou. Harry and a fellow officer have found the reported body on a berm of land, partially covered in clear plastic. Harry talks about the numerous deaths, all of them women. Harry heads home, and laments over a picture of his late wife, as memories of her come rushing in, recalling conversations. Soon, we realize his pain. A bit scruffy, and unkept, he heads to a convenience store, where he bumps into his sister, and his father who runs the store.

Not spending much time there, they head to his sister’s home, and we meet his nephew. Wanting to help Harry in his own way, he takes a dollar bill and draws a star on it. He tells Harry that’s his good luck charm. From this point forward, we witness the arbitrary handoff of the, One Buck, as it passes through the hands of multiple persons, becoming a traveling silent character unto itself.

One of those, is Jordan (Will Green, Night, The Waterboy, Armageddon, Any Given Sunday, Diamond Dawgs, Night, Rule Of Law). Green is an absolute screen stealer, making the most of his character. Written and directed by, Fabien Dufils (Equus, 5000 Friends, Mister Bird) One Buck is a stark look at the seedier side of life for all its inhabitants. The drab color of the trees in the bayou, along with the sets, darkened mostly or shot at night is a reminder of the harsh circumstances for everyone. The thriller aspect is certainly there.

I found, One Buck to be entertaining, and disturbing at times. The movie depicts, and does show murders, but primarily implying the acts of violence rather than splashing the screen with blood. An interesting endeavor visually, and not one meant to throw you involuntary backwards in your seat, it does provide some freaky and disturbing sequences, as you would expect, but with some added twists and turns, as our friend, One Buck travels on in its never ending adventure.

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