Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 400-Word Review: The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter

The Netflix exclusive Josh Brolin flick is pleasant enough, but light on laughs.




Photo by Merrick Morton/Netflix
 

I am grateful that “The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter” has a cumbersome title. At seven words, I’ll carve out a nice chunk of this review’s word count every time I name the film!

Such assistance is appreciated because there is nearly nothing to say about this utterly unremarkable comedy. Perhaps that’s why it floated in search of a distributor for years before Netflix quietly picked it up and chucked it into the streaming void. (It debuts, exclusively on the streaming service, today.)

Buck Ferguson (Josh Brolin) plays an unironic star of outdoors DVDs, the sort you might find a large cache of in your hunting-obsessed uncle’s den. His latest project: A video that will allow him to reconnect with his 12-year-old son, Jaden (Montana Jordan), as he takes the lad to bag his first deer, with his trusty cinematographer and friend, Don (Danny McBride), in tow.

Buck’s wife (Carrie Coon) has left him and shacked up with a suburban square (Scoot McNairy), and Buck fears his son is headed down an undignified path of gadget obsession. He’s been held back in school, he sets down his rifle to take a call from his girlfriend and he briefly pauses to post a YouTube video about how — gasp — hunting is boring.

It’s pretty stock stuff, and “Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter” doesn’t delve too deep over the course of its paper-thin 82 minutes. The lesson, which is scant but consistent, is one of accepting flaws; rather than force an ending where Buck becomes a responsible father, Jaden grows to respect nature and Don claims his dignity, everyone flirts with those ideas but are instead redeemed by accepting the people around them as imperfect.

There’s something refreshing about that story; a dozen big-budget comedies each year end with Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart or both learning their lesson and making an empty gesture of change. It’s nice to see a comedy with a bit more honesty. It’s also refreshing to see a movie remain committed to a small setup; other than a few establishing scenes, the whole film is three guys in the woods.

It’s just not funny. It’s earnest and heartfelt, but the jokes miss or are omitted. I’d expect more from McBride and his “Eastbound and Down” team. “Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter” will keep you vaguely interested until the credits roll, but that’s about it.

My Rating: 4/10
 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

A New Steel Curtain Is Rising

Will the new Steelers zone at Kennywood Park be ready in time for opening day?

Refucilo Winery Brings a Taste of Argentina to the North Side

Dr. Juan Antonio Lora's passion project is linked to youthful memories.

After Dark Hall of Fame: Spirit

The lauded Lawrenceville hotspot is the latest inductee in the After Dark Hall of Fame.

The 400-Word Review: Us

Jordan Peele's new film is terrifying, essential viewing.

Why These Pittsburgh Brides Said Yes to the … Jumpsuit?

Comfort, mobility and style were all considerations for these brides’ perfect wedding wardrobe.

Pittsburgh Tops the List For First-Time Homebuyers

The report from Bankrate.com touts Pittsburgh’s affordability, job market and culture.

On Trend: Add a Touch of Velvet to Your Decor

Local designers say the fabric can give a room a luxurious feel. Here’s how to incorporate it into your home.

Spring Clean Your Attic at This Reuse Festival

Just in time for Earth Day, local organizations are giving you the opportunity to recycle, learn about sustainability and get rid of unwanted stuff at home.

Dish Osteria Will Reopen This Spring

After a two-year hiatus, Michele and Cindy Savoia's beloved restaurant and bar returns to the South Side.

7 Scenic Day Trips with Spectacular Views

By car, train, bicycle or foot, head outside to take in these unforgettable vistas.

Restaurant Review: LeoGreta is a Gem in the Making

With a few tweaks and a little time to settle in, LeoGreta will be the restaurant we all wish we had in our neighborhood.

The Pittsburgh Pirates' Last World Series

Forty years removed from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ most recent championship, the “We Are Family” Pirates reflect on the myriad differences between their game and the one played on the North Shore today.

Foreign Investment: Pittsburgh's Business with Israel

Pittsburgh has a robust Jewish and Israeli community, with scores of programs, both social and academic, bridging the ocean. The relationship, however, is increasingly about business.

Grandstand Gear: The Ultimate Baseball Scoring Pencil

A Pirates fan says she designed the perfect pencil for keeping score at baseball games — and it’s a hit.

Giving the Little Ones Room to Learn

An expansion at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf will allow the storied institution to better serve the needs of its youngest students.