Lone Star Deception is a high-stakes political thriller that trips up at just about every hurdle. After a smear campaign rules out the Republican candidate for Texas Governor, Tim Bayh is drafted in by a wealthy Texas oilman, with his own personal agenda. Tim must pick up the baton and run the race for the Republicans. However, it seems like the whole world is against him, and the closer he gets to victory the more his life is at risk. Filled with greed, back-stabbing, twists and turns Lone Star Deception ticks all the boxes for an entertaining feature but does little more than that.
Lone Star’s narrative is a hollow, cliche at best and is at times difficult to follow. It moves from beat to beat with very little explanation, focused on getting to the next twist or action set-piece as opposed to fleshing out this muddy world where crime blends with politics and big oil companies. With greed being the exception, very little motive is given to justify what takes place throughout the film, making it difficult to believe in the choices the characters make. This is only confused further by the regressive racial representation. Furthermore, the film’s dialogue is weak and generic, every conversation feels like its been put through a word generator with little or no consideration given to the personality of individual characters.
Sadly the poor dialogue isn’t salvaged by any of the performances. Perhaps there is an argument to be made for when a worker uses broken tools the outcome will also be broken. However, on this occasion I don’t think that is the case. Every actor is portraying a stereotype whether it’s the shady criminal, sleazy oil baron or the troubled hero trying to do good while fighting his demons. None of them feel unique or worth emotionally investing in. The cast is fairly unknown except for Oscar nominated, Eric Roberts who will be familiar primarily as Maroni in Nolan’s The Dark Knight and Anthony Ray Parker who had a role in The Matrix. Although these actors may have excelled in other parts, in Lone Star Deception both are at fault for over-acting. Their approach at emphasising the emotion in scenes feels like a parody, whether it’s removing glasses before speaking or an exaggerated turn of the head. It is difficult to take them seriously at any point during their time on screen.
The camera work and editing is jarring. The camera pans unnecessarily for much of the film, and an extreme overuse of cutting during the conversation scenes removes any chance of being immersed in the story. In these difficult times many will turn to cinema as a welcome distraction. If that resonates with you, I do not recommend Lone Star Deception. It’s frustrating, lacklustre and will only leave you longing for your next trip to the cinema.
Written by Conor Crooks
STAR RATING –★
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