“No Country for Old Men” is the story of what happens when money consumes the lives of two men, portrayed oppositely as good and evil. The movie becomes an action-packed movie of evil chasing after a good, and in the process, and through interactions and views of other characters, we learn a lot about the motivations behind the main character’s actions. We are slowly drawn into the story, making it no longer an action movie and continuous “chase”, but instead a drama of how one action can change the lives of so many people.
In “No Country for Old Men”, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) is out hunting when he comes across the remains of a drug deal gone wrong. While there, he finds two millions dollars (the buy money) and decides to take it for himself. Knowing that the drug bosses will eventually come looking for the money, he sends his wife to her mother’s house and begins to run, hoping to either cause the drug bosses to quit following him or to lure them out and stop them from following him once and for all.
When the drug bosses realize the money is missing, they send Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) after Llewelyn. Chigurh has very little of a conscience (if any) and is willing to kill anyone who keeps him from his money. This starts a chase that takes the characters all over Texas, each character trying to stay one step ahead of the other.
One of the best parts of “No Country for Old Men” is the character development of the town Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones). He comes across the remains of the drug deal after Llewelyn has stolen the money, and begins to investigate it. As he does, he begins to understand just how much the world has changed over the years since he was young, and begins to lose faith in both himself and humanity, thus leading to the title of the movie.
While these important plot points take time to develop, the action of the movie keeps you thoroughly entertained. Chigurh uses a modified gun created from compressed air, so as not to leave evidence behind. This is not only something unique, but the sheer force Chigurh puts behind his actions helps create for the viewer the sociopath he truly is.
Although I have heard many reviewers and critics question to the final ending of the movie (not giving too much away here), I for the most part disagree. I feel that there is enough evidence given in the end of the movie for the viewer to be able to assume as to what has happened. Although I agree with the critics that one important scene should’ve been shown instead of skipped past, there is enough evidence given to fill in the blanks. The missing scene was not needed for informative purposes, but would’ve been nice for other purposes.
The one flaw in the movie goes back to Sheriff Ed Tom Bell’s character. Although the epiphany he comes to is so important for the theme of the movie, the way it is come upon seems a little drawn out. There are many scenes in which the Sheriff is talking to characters we as viewers have never met before, and proceeds to talk to them for a long period of time. These scenes put a pause on the action we are enjoying, and we have to make certain assumptions as to the characters relationships in order to fully grasp the importance of these conversations.
Other than that though, “No Country for Old Men” is an excellent modern day Western film. It is an action-packed, emotionally driven movie, whose story ends up telling more about the few specific characters in the movie, but instead about humanity as a whole.