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Todd Gilchrist’s “Revenge and Redemption” Is a Mixed Bag

In response to Todd Gilchrist’s 911‑word review of Out of the Furnace on GeekNation

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Todd Gilchrist’s piece for GeekNation, “Review: ‘Out of the Furnace’ Features Revenge & Redemption, But Not Necessarily in That Order” is an uneven affair that never quite manages to hit a stride.

Most of the problems here stem from prose which struggles with clarity. Gilchrist clearly has genuine critique in his head, but in that distance between his brain and the keyboard, the thoughts tend to get a bit muddled. Awkwardly phrased sentences and syntactical disjointedness sometimes exacerbate the situation.

The confusing phraseology never lasts long, but it’s enough to throw off the cadence of the piece and leave readers with a slight case of literary whiplash.

In between these inexplicable interludes and brief missteps, Gilchrist’s prose and critique shines. Christian Bale “creates a rich inner life for [Rusell],” Affleck gives his character “dignity and clarity,” and Harrelson “lends the character subtle dimensions that elevate him from being a pure villain.” Ultimately, though, the film’s “repeated declaration that it has something to say is what ultimately may keep audiences from hearing what that actually is.”

Unfortunately, these moments of sheer brilliance are punctuated by the aforementioned issues, which serve to dampen their power and make this review a second tier read.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation