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Alonso Duralde’s “Well-Intentioned but Flat Drama” Lacks Coherence

In response to Alonso Duralde’s 634‑word review of Out of the Furnace on The Wrap

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Alonso Duralde’s “‘Out of the Furnace’ Review: Christian Bale Anchors This Well-Intentioned but Flat Drama” is a lackluster affair that is uninspiring and, at times, lacks coherence.

Right from the beginning it’s evident that Duralde thinks this was supposed to be a message movie and blames the filmmakers for not following through on that, without, apparently, considering that the film’s creators might have had more of a thriller in mind. This lack of clarity and willingness to at least explore the second possibility puts the rest of what he has to say in serious doubt.

This includes when he says that the actors are “excellent” and “find moments of honesty.” However, going on later to state that Bale looks like he’s playing Jesus, and that the characters are mostly one-note, is jarring to the audience. It’s hard to tell if he’s saying the actors do their best with poor material, or that the material does have moments for good actors to find. This type of scattershot reviewing makes for a disorienting experience, as if the reviewer is grabbing lines out of the air. Whether they fit together or not may be beside the point.

This leads to an ending in which he states that spoiler alert, while the film’s intentions are noble, “we all know to which furnace noble intentions can lead.”

Thus, ending on a sour note, Well-Intentioned but Flat Drama is a disappointing entry into Duralde’s normally impressive body of work.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation