A couple are out on the flowery prairie filming a promo for their little town when, in the background, a USPS truck stops and someone gets out of another car and shoots the mailman. Or does he? Very quickly we find out that all is not what it seems.
This will remind you of Blood Simple or A Simple Plan, maybe even of Fargo. Somebody not too damn bright comes up with a scheme to get some money, in this case to blow this little town of Cut Bank, Montana, (Coldest place in the country!) with his girlfriend. And things go wrong. John Malkovich plays a pretty normal fellow for a change, a small-town cop who has never had to deal with murder victims before, and throws up every time he sees one. But in the tradition of Marge Gunderson and Molly Solverson, he’s smarter than the fuck-ups he is dealing with. Bruce Dern is his usual crotchety, nasty old fart. Oliver Platt is the outsider, a postal inspector from back in D.C. sent to confirm the murder, who just wants a steak dinner and then back home to the Beltway. Billy Bob Thornton puts in an appearance, as he seems to do in most movies set in the country these days. This is not of the caliber of the aforementioned trio, but it’s not bad, either.
Here’s an odd thing. The young man and young woman, good old wholesome American country kids Liam Hemsworth and Teresa Palmer … are actually both Australians. Now, why would a casting director do that? Not that she doesn’t have a perfect right to, but you would think it would be easy enough to find American actors for the parts. It’s not like Hemsworth or Palmer are bankable stars. Just wondering. Oh, and it was shot in Alberta, not Montana.