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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Small Town Troubles
Big Addiction Blues

Savage Salvation on IMDb

Plot Overview

happy hugcrucifiedShelby John (Jack Huston) of Wayfair, Georgia was a high school foot­ball star nick­named Mustang for his speed & power on the field. Soon as he came of age, he dropped out of school, enlisted in the army, and saw action on his several tours. After he mustered out, he went and got his GED, bought a motor­cycle, found manual labor, and moved into a little trailer in the sticks with his girl­friend Ruby Red (Willa Fitzgerald.) They love each other and he's bought her a Mickey Mouse engagement ring. As happens to a lot of veterans he's got a drug habit. It's fed by his own cousin Elvis Kincaid (Swen Temmel) who'd helped him financially in the past and is now profiting from the guy's addiction. Shelby has also got his girlfriend hooked, but they quit cold turkey together for the sake of family “structure.”


bought at counterbirthday partyThey announce their engagement at her nephew's birthday party. Her daddy's “out of the picture.” Her older sister Darlene (Winter Ave Zoli) gives Ruby her own wedding dress to be fitted. Their mother Greta complains that she hadn't been consulted; Shelby on the surface doesn't seem like such a good catch. Ruby's brother-in-law Peter (John Malkovich) offers some rousing toasts. He is the quint­essential good provider, judging by the pile of gifts he lavished on his now nine-year-old son Connor (Max Walls) and his offer to employ Shelby in his trucking business for better wages & benefits. Ruby picks up part-time work in a thrift store. She's also started to help out at the little church her family attends.

sleeping womanThe one glitch in all of this is their pusher is being squeezed to boost his numbers, so he doesn't take lightly the loss of one or two of his regular customers. He makes a commen­surate business decision, and when his product puts the pretty princess to sleep a little too deep, Shelby pays him a visit. The buck of responsibility keeps getting passed on up the line of suppliers where the wild mustang follows it, being a trained soldier pitted against well-armed civilians w/attitude.


Pastor Paul (J. Oscar Simmons) is seen baptizing Connor in the river. He's citing the beatitudes, from memory as he won't want to get his Bible wet. (Matt. 5:3) “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This would fit aging Sheriff Mike Church (Robert De Niro) who suffers for the county's opioid crisis, his helplessness in the face of it, and the loss of his son in an accident.

(Matt. 5:6) “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” It is Ruby's dying wish to have all her sins washed away in the river. This will happen in due time.

(Matt. 5:7) “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” As Shelby recompenses up the line their just deserts to the purveyors of drugs, one of them being most cooperative gets a reprieve. In kind the determined sheriff gives Shelby a break after he has him dead to rights.

(Matt. 5:8) “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” The top supplier offers such an impassioned rational­ization for trafficking in toxic drugs you'd think he was on the side of the angels. In an ironic twist (“I'm not a junky”) he experiences an involuntary reverie on that same merchandise.

(Matt. 5:9) “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” The sheriff's female Lieutenant Zeppelin (Meadow Williams) runs mannerly inter­ference on the reluctant paramedic following Mike's request to inter­view an injured man en route to the hospital. She's transported in a royal carriage come out of nowhere when she herself is hurt.

Production Values

” (2022) was directed by Randall Emmett. It was written by Adam Taylor Barker and Chris Sivertson. It stars Jack Huston, Robert De Niro and John Malkovich. It had a good cast ensemble. Huston as lead carried the movie quite well. We also saw good performances from De Niro and Malkovich. Willa Fitzgerald as a lover with a monkey on her back looked like she could take an Academy Award. The smaller parts were mostly well done, with a few clinkers.

MPAA rated it R for strong violence and drug use, and language throughout. The film­making is substandard. It's a derivative thriller that's slow to get off the ground. If I were a director, I would have passed on making this sad sack movie; only a genius could pull it off and where are they these days? It was filmed on location in Waycross, Georgia. Runtime is 1¾ hours.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

Bible Belt themes occur here in the South: One doesn't need to have lived a meritorious life to have her sins washed away by the Saviour, just rely on the grace of God. And falling to temptation is to be avoided no matter one's good intentions. There's a lot of decent action as a vet tries to do what he can and the sheriff can't. The back­story does hold up as I've related it, but one has to piece it together him­self rather than have it spoon fed to him. The with­drawal scenes are not easy to take. I enjoyed it but I'm easy to please.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good Date Movie. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.