Trouble Bound

      Comments Off on Trouble Bound

Trouble Bound (1993) is something of a classic from the heyday of the video store. Filed under action, this pseudo neo-noir adventure found its audience among fans of Reservoir Dogs (1992) and True Romance (1993). Like True Romance, Trouble Bound is one of the many descendants of Gun Crazy (1950) that flooded the market during the late eighties and early nineties. These “lovers on the run” films have a dated charm in that fans can pick their favorite couple to root for.

Despite a relatively modest budget the cast of Trouble Bound is stacked with excellent character actors that help to elevate an otherwise boilerplate affair. Billy Bob Thornton and Seymour Cassel are among the more notable supporting players who terrorize leads Michael Madsen and Patricia Arquette. Cassel in particular is a lot of fun as a mob boss who gets three of his fingers blown away by Arquette during a poker game.

Where the film begins to come apart is the pacing. The many twists and turns of the plot require a faster, pulpier style than the laid back pacing of Jeffrey Reiner’s direction. Unlike the films of John Dahl, Trouble Bound does not possess the palpable atmosphere that can sustain a languidly paced neo-noir. Trouble Bound, though well photographed, does not rise to meet the pre-requisite stylization associated with noir.

So Trouble Bound is only as good as its leads. If the chemistry between Madsen and Arquette appeals to the audience, then the film will “work” as light entertainment. If not, then the opposite will be true. Unfortunately Trouble Bound is too niche to earn a broad recommendation. It’s either a film for fans of the cast or for those brave enough to revisit the budget rentals of those glorious video store days.