Where “Promised Land” succeeds in putting the controversial issue of fracking (process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside) into the forefront of the film, the rest of the storyline is a bit underwhelming with little to grab onto.
“Promised Land” follows a salesman, Steve Butler, who works for a natural gas company. He experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources, natural gas through the process of fracking.
Damon and Krasinski, who both wrote and starred in the film, portray their characters rather well.
The acting in the film is not the issue in the least. However, the character’s themselves do not have a huge amount of depth. There are some dynamic aspects to Damon’s Steve, but not enough to really draw the audience into the character. It is to be assumed that this was done to make the issue of fracking the main point of the film, but the film is not a documentary and there needs to be something extra to draw in the viewer. Even Krasinski’s usual charm does little to draw the viewer into his character. McDormand at least adds some humor, but at times it seems a little forced.
Overall, the film does a good job of dealing with the issue of fracking, yet there is not enough substance to entertain the viewer in parts of the film or to connect to many of the characters.