"Rushlights" is a ludicrously florid indie noir about a guy, a girl and an inheritance con that rarely plays like anything more than an extended re-enactment one might find on a basic cable true-crime show.
Starting with a flirtatious exchange between handsome schemer Billy (Josh Henderson) and Sarah (Haley Webb), a waitress with a drug problem, director/co-writer Antoni Stutz sends the pair to a tiny Texas town where Sarah fools a lawyer (Aidan Quinn) into believing she's the heir to a recently killed local businessman's gothic estate.
Trouble follows, in the form of a suspicious sheriff (Beau Bridges), some naughty family secrets and a vengeful, sadistic dealer (Crispian Belfrage), but also in the form of terrible presentational acting, choppy editing, overcooked lighting schemes, jacked-up sound effects and a near-pathological reliance on brassy, loud music cues signaling danger. (They even pop up during tension-free conversations, like a soundtrack with a flatulence problem.)
If ever a movie signaled that the Quentin Tarantino copycat age of empty-headed wink-wink genre rehashing is still with us, "Rushlights" is that movie.
MPAA rating: R for violence, language, sexuality and drug use.
Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes.
Playing: At the Chinese 6, Hollywood.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun