Now days it seems to be getting more and more often that you see A-list celebs appearing in straight to video films. Sadly more often than not it becomes pretty obvious why they didn’t get the wider release. One that came a bit out of left field is This Must Be The Place starring Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch, Harry Dean Stanton, and Joyce Van Patton. The box image alone will draw you towards it wondering what the hell it could be about, but does the movie deliver?
This Must Be The Place follows a retired rock star living in Dublin. When he receives news of his ill father he returns to New York only to find that he has already passed away. Before heading home, he sets out on a journey to track down a Nazi responsible for humiliating his father during WWII. This is a really strange movie that takes the audience on a weird personal journey of this character that turns into a road trip film pretty quickly. Sean Penn give a strange but great performance channeling the look of The Cult and some of the mannerisms of Ozzy to create a truly unique character. The rest of the cast do a great job bringing this interesting tale together. The story isn’t anything all that original, but thanks to the addition of the Penn’s character and his unique look and behavior it shifts the film into new directions. The first half of this film is a bit slow and takes a little bit of an effort to really stick with it, but once it gets into the road trip aspect it becomes much more entertaining thanks to the other interesting people he meets along the way. It has become a fact that in the horror genre the addition of Nazi’s makes it better and apparently translates into this story as well. The entire reasoning behind his trip sounds pretty out there from the description, but actually works pretty well and offers up both redemption and suffering to those involved.
This movie was a real surprise delivering much more than you might expect. When you see the box and read the synopsis you will be hard pressed to not be intrigued, but while it sounds like a ridiculous film, it actually works really well delivering emotion, humor and redemption all in a simple road trip movie.