Watch or skip: Mending the Line on Netflix, starring Brian Cox as a grumpy Marine with a love for fly fishing

patch circuitNow streaming on Netflix, it tells the quiet story of two very different veterans, both recovering from the scars of war, who form an unexpected, initially reluctant friendship over fly fishing.

gist: John Colter (Xinka Walls) and Ike Fletcher (Brian Cox) share a doctor at the Veterans Administration hospital. Colter is a young Marine who is injured on the last day of a tour in Afghanistan, where Ike Fletcher (Brian Cox) is serving. The older) Marine, is battling an initially unnamed diagnosis that can only be managed, not treated. Colter wants to get well enough to redeploy; Ike just wants to be able to continue his hobby of fly fishing (which can get dangerous when you’re alone on a river and it’s easy to pass out. Therefore, Dr. Burke (Patricia Heaton) assigns younger people to help older people, thinking it will be good for Colt’s mental health and Ike’s physical safety. Colter also meets Lucy (Perry Perry). Mattfeld is a local librarian and former photographer who is dealing with her own grief. Then came fly fishing—although Ike always released the animals because he’d seen enough kills; apparently just tormenting the fish was enough of a tranquility.

What movies does it remind you of? : The veteran is desperate to return to active duty rather than deal with his own trauma, which is pretty much exactly what Jennifer Lawrence plays in this lovely, understated drama. causeway bay That was a few years ago, and of course it would be hard for any movie to contain a fly fishing scene without calling to mind Robert Redford’s a river flows through it.The two films are stylistically different, but what they have in common is that patch circuit.

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Photo: Everett Collection

Performances worth seeing: Wes Studi, a character actor who you will recognize from the following films the last of the mohawks, hot, Mystery manand enemyTypically strong and quietly magnetic, in a relatively thankless supporting role as Ike’s friend who owns a fly-fishing shop.

Unforgettable conversations: In an unintentionally funny moment, Colter fails to understand the metaphor of a salmon swimming upstream.

Gender and skin: No. The search for truly sexy fly fishing movies continues.

Our take: It feels a bit churlish to complain that a film that is at least partly about the patience and tender loving care required of the sport of fly fishing is too slow.On the other hand, this is a movie about an older man teaching a young man to go fly fishing, and the scene where they fly fishing together for the first time doesn’t happen a whole hour At first glance, director Joshua Caldwell (last seen in Bella Thorne’s film about a very different subject) seems admirable notorious) is willing to take the time to create Colt and Ike separately, including a surprisingly lengthy opening battle sequence in Afghanistan, before forcing them together. But their two characters are too familiar to accept this without arousing some impatience – especially when the film spends so much time delaying the release of basic information. This is true even as the wheels of the minor plot are set in motion; the specifics of Colt’s injury, the details of Ike’s diagnosis and the reasons for his reticence about his war experiences, and Lucy’s reasons for abandoning her photography career, are revealed in the film’s second It slowly emerged over the course of several hours.

patch circuit makes some valuable observations about the psychological trauma that many veterans must endure, and provides Brian Cox with a powerful little monologue in which he poses to his new friends how soldiers view military experience as A dangerous suggestion for “the whole story.” causeway bay Working with similar material is less predictable; patch circuit Can’t think of a way to dramatize this stuff other than serious dialogue. Even the photogenic sport of fly fishing, if there ever was one, looks a little bland and stuffy—a sweeping shot has Cox and Walls just standing on the landscape, as if they’re afraid of damaging nature with it. Time and time again, the decision to stay in the present moment feels like it’s driven by caution rather than actual effectiveness.

Our appeal: patch circuit is the kind of sensitive and well-intentioned small-scale drama that rarely gets a wide theatrical release, so its presence on Netflix is ​​welcome. However, that doesn’t make it a particularly good example of a cure for the well-established subgenre. Viewers can safely skip it.

Watch Mending Line on Netflix

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