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Mike McGranaghan’s “The Furnace” Channels Young Guns II (Blaze of Glory)

In response to Mike McGranaghan’s 612‑word review of Out of the Furnace on Aisle Seat

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Mike McGranaghan hollers out “Oh, no you didn’t” in his latest piece, “Out of the Furnace,“and he does so with fiery keystrokes. McGranaghan? More like McGranag-bam! Take that, film.

The critic produces a solid critique in The Furnace, but is unable to please the performance Gods by going limp with analysis on Christian Bale and Casey Affleck. Perhaps McGranaghan was flat-out exhausted by the final paragraph, which resulted in noting that the actors give “committed performances.”

Despite a few flaws, the rest of The Furnace shows that MMG is large and in charge…for the most part. The introduction is savvy, and McGranaghan points out all the perceived flaws in the content such as blowtorch smoking, half-baked love and heavy-handed symbolism aka Woody Harrelson, Zoe Saldana getting dirty with a cop and the film’s blatant reference to The Deer Hunter. The critic is in command of the written word and doesn’t back down.

The Furnace has warm spots, but McGranaghan often shifts from hot to cold. One learns that “things do pick up slightly in the final 45 minutes.” but sadly MMG doesn’t expand. Overall, the point is made, however the conclusion is anticlimactic with anti-critique.

The Furnace gets the job done, but by the end McGranaghan shuts the door on the reader and leaves them in the bitter cold. One may imagine the critic riding off into the proverbial sunset while playing “Blaze of Glory” from Young Guns II.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation